Monday, December 19, 2011

China Glaze Ruby Pumps takes you away from holiday induced stress

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With 7 days left before the big 2-5, I'm fairly certain that tempers are fraying and the stress of the holidays might be getting to you. If not, I applaud your cool, calm composure (grace under fire!) or your unbelievable case of procrastination ("oh, I can still do it on the 24th"). Either way, I'm of the mind that when things get more than a little crazy, I wish I could either stop time for a bit to catch my breath or click my heels and transport myself to anywhere quiet. That last bit brings to mind one of the best know red jelly and glitter polishes of all-time (incidentally also perfect for your holiday mani):

That right there is the reason why it's so popular and timeless.

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: China Glaze Ruby Pumps
Color: Ruby red
Formula: Red jelly base with red glitter
Finish: Glitter
Price: $6.49 - $7.75 CDN for 14mL
Seen at: Trade Secrets, Sally Beauty, Nail Polish Canada and various other retailers
Note(s): First released in 2001 from the Wizard of OOH AHZ and later re-released under the same collection and name in November of 2009. While this color has been around, it's defied the trend gods to remain wildly popular in any season. A limited edition mini version of Ruby Pumps is also available at Sally Beauty for $1.99.

The Fun Facts

Token bottle shot.

Serial at the base. (Sorry about the missing corner. It was Hammie.)

Your usual China Glaze brush.

Red glitter awesomeness.

This is a great true red that leans neither too cool or too warm, making it perfect for all skintones. This versatility is a huge part of its popularity. The deeper red glitter that is dispersed throughout the sheer base adds sparkle to make an already great color even better. But it's also because of this glitter that gives Ruby Pumps a bit of a gritty texture upon drying. Nothing that top coat can't fix to make this beauty shine as it should.
***All nail swatches were done with Nail Tek II Foundation Base Coat and two coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Notice the texture? Yes, it dries gritty.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
The glitter catches the light so well!

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
Still a fairly shiny finish even without top coat.

As pretty and fashion forward most China Glaze polish colors are, I'm always a bit hesitant to purchase from the brand because of my experience with various formulas from different polishes that make up the whole range of consistencies: from watery and runny to really thick and viscous. Luckily, Ruby Pumps falls right in the sweet spot and is a joy to apply. I love the way the polish is sheer as the build up of layers makes for a jelly sandwich that creates a more interesting look. I have to hand it to China Glaze, they do know how to make some of the most awesome glitter and glass-flecked polishes and Ruby Pumps is no exception. Even though it dries with a somewhat gritty texture, you don't get any of those overhanging glitter pieces on the free end of your nail that's a snagged sweater or scarf waiting to happen. Dry time is pretty good even with multiple layers. Slop on a fast drying top coat to smooth out the finish and dry time is practically negligible.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Perfectly glossy finish = one awesome red polish.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie: No wonder this red is so famous!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie sings: "Feliz Navi-red, feliz navi-red..!"

Taking away the gritty finish with some top coat brings Ruby Pumps to a whole new level of amazing.

The Lowdown

While I can't say with confidence that this is the definitive red jelly with red glitter polish that started it all, from what I have read on the interwebs, it does look a lot like it's the common ancestor of every other red jelly with red glitter polish that has since come out in the market. Some of the more well known dupes of Ruby Pumps are Milani Ruby Jewels, Orly Star Spangled (also came out in 2009), Revlon Firecracker, Maybelline Express Finish Glitter in Red Comet and Essie Ruby Slippers. Of them, Ruby Slippers has a deeper red jelly base but all the others look the same as Ruby Pumps for all intents and purposes. If you have any of the ones I mentioned, I doubt you need Ruby Pumps unless you're a hardcore collector. But if you have none, I really do urge you to consider getting Ruby Pumps over the others. The formula is flawless and even with it being an older release, availability isn't a problem. I picked mine up at a local Sally Beauty store when they had a sale and got it for $5.50. Even at $7.00, this is a versatile polish that can take you from a New Year's Eve bash, a Valentine's Day hot date and all the way to the holidays later in the year. I've gotten my fair share of use from this polish so value for price is pretty up there.

Hammie is as enamored with this famous red glitter as he is with his re-lyricized Christmas carol. It's shiny and sparkly, it's red and it's a jelly. All three things that you can't not love in Hammie's book. It also seems that the closer it gets to Christmas, the nicer this little hamster is. In this case though, I completely agree with how he scored Ruby Pumps:

10 Hammie Points!

I kept mixing up the China Glaze and Essie names while writing this post so I was wondering, are there any other polish names that you keep interchanging? Any big plans for the holidays? Are you more excited about getting presents or giving them and seeing the recipients' reactions?


  1. This is one of my favourite reds, and it looks killer on you! :) I love how the sunlight's playing with the shiny polish in your sunlight photo. It helps take a magical polish to the next level.

  2. Thanks, Mary! I got this on your recommendation and I'm glad I did! :) This was supposed to be my Christmas mani but it's since been overthrown by Peridot. ;)

  3. So pretty!! Such a great red!

  4. Thanks, Marisa! There's a reason it stayed so popular throughout all these years. ;) I hope you this is your collection. It's easily one of my favorite reds and it's such a versatile polish, too!

  5. I had the chance to pick this shade up the other day, but chose China Glaze Ring in the Red instead... I'm not too sure what the difference between the two really is... they look 'similar' enough to me? hmmm.
    I have two department store polishes "Grey Suede" by Revlon and "Grey Area" by Sally Hansen... and while the colours are totally different... I keep using the names interchangeably... hmmm

    Okay... please don't think me weird! but is it snowing on your blog!!!?
    I see snowflakes! Please tell me they are real... otherwise I'm taking my aging behind to get my eyes checked ASAP!

  6. I think Ring in the Red looks like an updated version of Ruby Pumps (kind of like how Glittering Garland is to Emerald Sparkle). I looked it up and apparently, Ruby Pumps is a deeper ruby red while Ring in the Red has more yellow to it and also has hex glitter. I highly recommend Ruby Pumps if you still have room in your lacquer collection. ;)

    Glad to know I'm not alone! :D Maybe it's the similar first parts of the name that trip us up. :)

    Hahaha, Marta, you are SO NOT OLD!!! And yes, I figured if I wasn't going to get a while Christmas, I wanted Hammie to enjoy the "snow" while he's hanging out here. :)

  7. Do they really have it at Trade Secrets?
    (I live nowhere near a Sallys)

  8. My local one has it. I live in Toronto. :)

  9. Eatons Centre? I live very very close to that Trade Secrets


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