Friday, October 28, 2011

L'Oreal Owl's Night

Ever since I randomly got an owl necklace from Suzy Shier (it was on sale for $5!) and got a lot of compliments on it, I've started to have a thing for owls. Well, not entirely. I still think that if I saw one on a dark, Halloween night, I would definitely run away panicked like a headless chicken, screaming my head off. Assuming of course that all I'd have seen are two huge, round, gleaming eyes.  And if I were to hear a loud "hoot! hoot! hoot!", that will almost make me pee in my pants. Almost.

While what I have for you today won't cause any panic attacks or screaming hysteria, this unique color might very well make you pee in your pants in excitement.

l'oreal owl's night
Excited yet?

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: L'Oreal Owl's Night
Color: Brown with gold glitter
Formula: Brown with red/purple undertones base with gold micro glitter
Finish: Glitter
Price: $4.99 USD for 11.5mL
Seen at: Various US drugstores (Rite Aid, CVS, etc)
Note(s): This is part of a limited edition Project Runway inspired collection from L'Oreal. I purchased my bottle in the US and so far I haven't seen this collection in Canadian drugstores. Will update once I find out more.

The Fun Facts

Check out that shimmer.

Serial at the back.

It has a number so I don't know if it's unlike Revlon where LE = no number.

I thought it was interesting that the brush had a serial and the bottle had one, too, at the bottom.

Look at that pretty gold veining.

I have to admit that describing this color is not the easiest. In the bottle it looks simple enough: a dark brown base with gold glitter. On the nail though, I found it's actually a red/purple toned brown. This base alters the gold glitter to make it flash greenish and even orange. Together, they bring out an olive hue to it in some angles but it's mostly the gold glitter against that lovely brown shade. Don't you just love these colors with depth? The finish on this one isn't very shiny. It's somewhere between shiny and satin but the dry texture is smooth even with the tiny glitter.
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and two coats of  L'Oreal Owl's Night unless stated.

brown with gold nail polish
Natural light/No top coat/No flash

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
See that olive flash I was talking about?

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
But it's really mostly gold.

I find the L'Oreal brush to be similar to Essie brushes, except the handle is square-ish. I find it even makes application easier as the flat edges rest snugly to make for an easier grip. The polish consistency is Goldilocks approved: neither too thick nor too thin. It flows well and evens itself out. While the first coat is scarily streaky, it does build up wonderfully and is even and opaque after two. As for dry time, I'd say this one dries within the average time: about 5 minutes and it's dry to the touch.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Amp'd up shine.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: Cool, it looks like it's glowing!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: Yep. Top coat makes everything better.

Top coat makes the polish look like it's glowing in certain lights. You really appreciate the contrast between the glitter and the base even more with it.

The Lowdown

The drugstore polishes are definitely upping the ante! L'Oreal is stepping up to the plate with Owl's Night. Gone are the days when you had to exclusively pay premium to get amazing, unique colors. I think it also helps that this is part of the Project Runway collection so the colors are more fashion forward. I have nothing like this in my stash so I'd say this is pretty unique. To confirm this, I've done some research on the interwebs and have found that Owl's Night actually does resemble an older Dior polish from Holiday 2010 called Czarina Gold. The main difference is that the brown base of Owl's Night allows for the glitter to really shine compared to the darker base of Czarina Gold. A few others that might be contenders are D&G Stromboli and MAC Seriously Hip but both are more olive-toned so neither can be called duplicates. (Notice how most of the possible dupes are high end brands? Stepping up, I tell you!)

The Project Runway collections are always limited edition. That being said, availability is definitely an issue. I still haven't seen any display of this anywhere local so I'm afraid it might be another US exclusive. For the price of $4.99, you get 11.5mL of polish. While this isn't much compared to the usual 15mL, if you take into consideration that it's hard to find and limited edition, $4.99 is very much worth it.

Hammie is quite impressed that drugstore brands are becoming more competitive. First it was Revlon with their Chanel and Deborah Lippmann dupes. Now, L'Oreal is joining in with an even better (in terms of glitter and price) take on a Dior polish. It still rankles him though that it's not a far cry from plagiarism. While having a cheaper alternative is always good, churning out unique and original products should also be a priority. To make a stand, he had to dock a couple points to score Owl's Night:

8 Hammie Points!

How do you feel about the emergence of drugstore dupes? Would you rather buy the pricier alternative for the brand or would a cheaper alternative appeal more to you? Have you ever seen an owl at night?


  1. First off, I'd like to start this comment off with a *hoot hoot hoot*! :P How are your pants? Hehe, I couldn't resist, Carmela.

    This is such a flattering fall polish on you! Very sexy and bold...with a little mystery. The shimmer really makes this polish stand out to me.

    I'm very happy to see more drugstores trying to dupe expensive-brand colours. It makes it easier for everyone to enjoy fabulous colours instead of just those willing to fork over their life savings. And if the drugstore version is close enough to the real deal, I'd go for the drugstore polish (if I can find it!). I think that if I bought the original and saw a cheaper, drugstore version of it, I'd feel foolish.

  2. My pants are fine since I'm wearing a dress. But the dress.. let's not go there. ;) Hahaha!

    Thanks, Mary! The shimmer really does set it apart. I can't wait to see this on your nails! :D

    Here, here! The only thing missing in that equation is if availability could be better. I don't mind limited edition releases for as long as they actually do release it in your country. Hopefully, nail polish equality will become a reality sooner than later. ;)

  3. Gosh, I really love the gold flecks in it. It's so pretty!

  4. You should see it in person, Rainy Days! The gold in it just glows.

    PS. I like the name Rainy Days and Lattes. I prefer hot chocolate but a latte does the trick, too. ;)

  5. Finally saw this just today at my local Loblaws (I'm in Ottawa) and I'll definitely be going back to pick one up -- so gorgeous!

  6. Oh, wow! That's fantastic news! You really have to get one, Karen. :)

    Thanks for the head's up! :)


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