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China Glaze Capitol Colours Collection — Inspired by The Hunger Games

The nation seems to have  a voracious appetite for The Hunger Gamesopening this Friday, with industry insiders speculating that the film could gross as much as $140 million in its opening weekend. In fact, according to a Fandango spokesperson, the Jennifer Lawrence-helmed film has already outperformed the first Twilight movie in advance ticket sales. Fashionistas and pop culture enthusiasts alike have been buzzing about the film since last year and the fervor has only increased as the opening date has neared,    with fans deconstructing every trailer, clamoring to learn more about the elaborate makeup looks seen, and logging onto the enigmatic fashion blog Capitol Couture, which mixes Vanity Fair-esque profiles of Panem citizens with snappy pieces on real-life designers like Haider Ackermann.

In anticipation of the film, China Glaze developed its Capitol Colours Collection, which incorporates nail lacquer shades inspired by the imagery detailed in the book  — from the lush woods to the horn-shaped Cornucopia (a supply room of sorts) and Katniss’s fire dress. The nail polishes retail for $7 per bottle and are currently available at salons and specialty beauty retailers like Sally Beauty Supply and ULTA stores.

Twelve shades are available —  the perfect number to commemorate District 12 — ranging from rich and creamy earth tones to sparkling fiery and woodsy shades, moody and molten-looking grays and pewters and sumptuous metallics. The shades in the Capitol Colours collection, then, are: Dress Me Up, a creamy pale mauve hue; Riveting, a blazing orange hue with red and gold glitter; Mahogany Magic, a decadent, deep, creamy brown; Smoke and Ashes, a blackened forest green saturate with emerald green pearls that only surface in the light; Hook and Line, a steely gray with a near molten finish; Electrify, a clear color saturated with chunky yellow gold and red glitter; Agro, an olive green with golden shimmer; Stone Cold, a gunmetal hue; Foie Gras, a creamy , cool taupe hue; Harvest Moon, a golden bronze shade with fine gold glitter; Luxe and Lush, a clear color with opalescent blue and white glitter flakes that create the illusion of crushed ice; and Fast Track, a sandy nude hue with white gold glitter.

I’ve had the privilege of trying six of the nail lacquer shades and have been blown away by the original shades, the delicious textures, and the overall longevity of each one. I feared that perhaps this collection would rely too heavily on gimmickry and that the product quality would suffer as a result, but any doubts I had were quickly obliterated. In fact, even the richer brown and mauve shades had me enamored — a notable feat since I tend to find earth tones too safe and boring (what can I say? I’m a flashy gal). Five of the six shades I tried were extremely wearable and will transition perfectly into the fall season when we should expect to see a resurgence of rich, creamy, decadent burgundy, brown, and taupe shades.

After the jump, you’ll find close-ups of the six shades I tried — Mahogany Magic, Dress Me Up, Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, Hook and Line, and Electrify — along with swatches of each.

The Hunger Games may be based on the premise that 24 contestants go in and only one emerges but the opposite could be said of this collection — when one person enters a store, she’ll likely leave with all 12 nail polishes. Take a look after the jump to find out why!


As I stated before, I don’t typically gravitate to brown shades so I swatched this color without much excitement, feeling a professional obligation to see how the color looked on my nails and yet very little personal curiosity. To my dismay, the more I looked at the Mahogany Magic lacquer, the more beautiful I found it. This particular shade of brown isn’t just creamy — it’s decadent. Rather than an arid, soil-like brown, Mahogany Magic is a chocolate fondue shade that offers full coverage while maintaining its initial smooth, luscious, velvety texture.

Take a look:

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Next, moving on to one of the flashier hues in the collection, we have Riveting, a shimmering, intense, reddish orange that feels as fiery and kinetic as molten lava erupting from a volcano. It’s a great color for any season but especially for spring and summer when brighter, warmer, sunnier manicures echo our optimistic dispositions. The fine golden glitter scattered throughout the formula adds to the Riveting lacquer’s effusive quality, making it all the more exciting.

Check out how the Riveting lacquer looks:

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This is one of the more versatile colors in the collection — a cool-toned, light mauve color with a creamy texture. It’s very similar to the color of the floral print dress Elizabeth Banks’ character Effie Trinket wears in many of the film posters but, as opposed to the metallic texture of the aforementioned frock, the Dress Me Up lacquer features a creaminess that makes it all the more inviting and tactile.

Here’s how the shade looks on my nails:

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As someone with an obsession with rocker-inspired looks, I’ve tried every shade of gray, silver, steel, and gunmetal imaginable — or so I thought. When I applied the China Glaze Hook and Line nail lacquer, inspired by District 4’s specialization in fishing (the residents made fish hooks from scratch). I was immediately blown away by the liquid mercury shade, by how the silvery gray had a molten texture that gave the polish a fluidity and warmth, as opposed to impersonal, heavily industrial feel of many metallic lacquers.

Check it out for yourself:

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In the dark, this shade looks like your basic black — think petroleum oil, not black asphalt —but when the light shines upon it, the specks of emerald green glitter infuse the lacquer with a new life. Suddenly, the abysmal black appears like more of a deep forest green, with the emerald glitter conjuring up a magical, enchanted forest vibe.

Here are some photos that convey how Smoke and Ashes looks when applied to nails (my mani was a bit messy here, so my apologies for that one!):

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As its name suggests, the Electrify nail lacquer stands as the most flamboyant option in the Capitol Colours collection. Like most glitter polishes, this one has a clear base and is saturated with fine gold glitter and slightly chunkier red glitter specks. It took me about four coats to obtain a decent amount of coverage and, even then, you could still see my nail through the gaps in the glitter distribution so, for a truly bold look, I’d suggest layering Electrify atop another lacquer (an orange or red shade being the most obvious choices).

Here’s a look at the shade atop bare nails (this is a solid three coats) but, as previously stated, this won’t provide full coverage so you can either keep layering on more coats (while being mindful of potential clumping) or try using this as a top coat above a base shade.

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