Monday, April 16, 2012

Models Own Beetlejuice Collection: Pinky Brown

So last week, we talked about how duochromes aren't always as amazing as their promo photos can make them out to be. Well, today's polish initially was something of a disappointment as well. I don't know what it is about promo photos, but I now feel that I can't completely trust them anymore. I say, give me a great swatch from a nail blogger any day. Chances are, the nail blogger will get it closer to what I'll actually get. Now, don't get me wrong; that's not to say that major brands are now selling under the guise of false advertising. I'd like to think of it as something akin to staging a house that someone is selling to make it look the best it possibly can so that a potential buyer can say, "hey, this looks like something I can see myself living in". As it were, while this particular polish seemed (and I can't stress that word enough) to be another disappointment, it turned out to be so exactly what I wanted, after all.

Really, how can you be disappointed with this?

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Models Own Pinky Brown
Color: Deep pink/purple to bronze/gold
Formula: Sheer brown/grey base with multichromatic glass flecks
Finish: Duochrome/Glass-flecked
Price: £5 GBP or $10 CDN for 14mL
Seen at: Models Own website, Harlow and Co. and wherever Models Own nail polishes are sold.
Note(s): I got my bottle from the original Beetlejuice Collection set from late last year which sold for £20 GBP for a set of the 5 original colors including an all in one base/topcoat. That brings my bottle price down to £3.33 GBP (about $5.27 CDN) plus shipping.

The Fun Facts

Token bottle shot.

Back of the bottle.

Label at the base.

Standard Models Own brush.

Check out that duochrome!

Color shift!

Okay, so first off, I think I have to explain my initial disappointment when the color shift looks ridiculously amazing in my photos above. It's easy: I blame the promo photos. They looked so vibrant and bright yet my actual bottle of polish, albeit having the exact same awesome duo/multichrome action going on, wasn't. Instead, I got a deeper color than what I expected. But even that turned out to be more of a good thing. See, when I finally wore it, I realized that Pinky Brown could very well pass as the love child of Orly Rock It (from the Mineral FX collection) and OPI Warm and Fozzie (from the OPI Muppets Collection). These two were easily among my top picks from the fall/winter collections of last year so wearing both in one go seemed like such a treat. Pinky Brown has the best of both colors: the deep burgundy/pink/purple of Rock It and the brown/bronze/gold tones of Warm and Fozzie. I do think I would have liked it even better if it had more of the vibrancy of Rock It, but as it were, the bronze-y tones that make the duochrome effect so noticeable tend to mute the pink/burgundy tones.
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and two coats of Models Own Pinky Brown unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Low lighting is the best friend of duochromes. The color always seems richer, somehow.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
It's interesting how it shows flashes of purple!

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
And here you see what looks to me like flashes of red, as well!

As much as I abhor a clunky brush handle, when you have a great formula to work with, it doesn't even matter at all. Thankfully, that much is true for the Models Own polish; it flows nicely and evens itself out without much effort, easily opaque in two thin to medium coats. It's a formula that's densely packed with those magical multichromatic glass flecks that almost echoes the wonderful China Glaze glass fleck formulas. Even better is the surprisingly fast drying quality of the polish, as the first nail you worked on is dry to the touch after finishing your entire hand.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Not much of a shine difference with topcoat when you're dealing with shiny glass flecks!

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: Do my eyes deceive me or do I see purple/blue flashes?

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: Be still my shine loving hamster heart!

With an innately shiny glass-flecked finish, top coat just seems moot, don't you think?

The Lowdown

When Pinky Brown and the rest of its Beetlejuice family were first released, word got out that it might possibly be a dupe of the (in)famously discontinued MAC Bad Fairy. Jen over at The Polishaholic did a comparison that dashed the hopes of many (including myself) who missed out on owning Bad Fairy. To be honest, Bad Fairy is exactly how I thought Pinky Brown would look like on the nail: bright and vibrant. But if you're more after a similar look for less, Claire's offers Poison Apple that echoes the color though it lacks the gorgeous color shift that Pinky Brown has down pat. Now, if we're talking actual dead on dupes, the closest I've found is from a brand called Vivien in 74. They look the closest alike except it lacks the purple tones that Pinky Brown has. Altogether, that sums it up to say that I don't think there's anything out there that is a 100% duplicate of Pinky Brown. Yay for uniqueness!

Luckily for those of us who live across the pond and refuse to pay in £, Harlow and Co comes to our rescue offering this lovely, along with the rest of its Beetlejuice family (including the 3 new releases for Spring/Summer 2012!), for sale on their website. I, for one, am grateful to have this option as shipping from within Canada means I get my hands of pretties such as Pinky Brown sooner than later! Of course, you can also get it directly from the source at Models Own as they ship practically worldwide so availability isn't an issue at all. As for value for price, getting a unique duochrome for less than $10 CDN is pretty top notch in my books, especially when you get 14mL of it compared to the 10mL or less Ozotics that I'm still lusting after (you will be mine, one day!).

Despite the initial disappointment, Pinky Brown was determined to impress. Calling to mind two of my fall favorites from last year was a huge gamble that paid off: I adore this glass-flecked duochrome! Hammie agrees unequivocally despite the lack of vibrancy. He says the ridiculous shine and color shift more than makes up for it. The awesome consistency that echoes the formula of our top pick for glass-flecked nail polishes blew him away. But what sold him all the more was the surprisingly unique color. Docking a single point for not living up to initial expectations, Hammie scores Pinky Brown an impressive:

9 Hammie Points!

Have you ever purchased a polish online expecting it to look a certain way and getting something altogether different? Do you have a color in your collection that can pass for the love child of two other different nail polishes? What is your absolute favourite duochrome polish?


  1. Great pics and love the house staging concept!

  2. I was disappointed by this polish. I thought the duochrome would be much stronger. I think it looks so much better on you than on me.

  3. It looks really nice on you! I totally agree that this colour be the love child of Rock-It and Warm and Fozzie. Disappointing that it didn't live up to your expectations, but a very pretty polish none the less.

  4. Thanks, Cali! I don't like to judge too harshly and do try to see it from the production/brand side of things. I think people can be a bit harsh with criticism about advertising/promo photos not living up to the real thing when they've probably done something similar (like the house staging scenario) without realizing it themselves! :)

  5. I hear you, Marisa. I felt the same way when I saw it in the bottle. I was pleasantly surprised to see it actually looked a lot better on the nail. I'm really sorry it didn't work out for you, though. :(

  6. Thanks, Stephanie! When I had it on, I kept thinking about how it reminded me of certain nail polishes. I actually raided my stash to quell my curiosity! :D Well, it's mostly my initial expectations that it didn't live up to, but it turned out to be something unexpectedly awesome nonetheless. :)

  7. Your nails look lovely, Carmela! This shade compliments them very well.

    Sorry to hear that it didn't blow your mind like the promo pictures suggested it would. I, also, was drooling over the promo pictures, but held off on getting any. No, not because I wanted to see swatches from others and then decide. This time my budget was to thank...although now you're to blame since I'm craving this polish after seeing your swatches! ;)

    One of my favourite duochromes has to be Chanel Peridot! It always makes me feel so luxurious when I wear it.

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