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Maybelline New York Color Show Vintage Leather Nail Polish Collection — Tougher Than Leather?

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The moment I saw the new Maybelline New York Color Show Vintage Leather collection at Target, I wanted every single shade; after all, I grew up listening to (and yes, idolizing) Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde, and Shirley Manson — all hard-edged girls who wore leather and rocked out as hard as their male counterparts when on stage. Right away, I picked up five colors: Ageless Olive, Plush Plum, Vintage Violet, Classic Camel, and Red Relic. And I couldn’t wait to try each and every single one.

Since I’m most used to seeing leather in camel, chestnut, sienna, mahogany, olive green, sage, black, and white shades, I decided to give one of the neutral colors a whirl first. I painted my nails with the Classic Camel nail polish, and I was instantly fascinated. The polish dries really quickly, and the texture is fascinating: mainly matte, but enriched with crushed pearls that add a bit of shimmer and create a slightly spotty, near-crackled look. Now, you may think of leather as being glossy and slick, but remember: the name of this collection is Vintage Leather and, if you’ve ever gone shopping at a thrift store, then you know that, as leather ages, it dulls a bit and becomes more distressed, its color not as uniform as it once was. This wear-and-tear only makes the leather more charming, gives it more of a history. And this, of course, is the effect Maybelline sought to replicate with its Vintage Leather Color Show nail polishes.

Thought you can always add a clear top coat to your mani, it essentially negates the gorgeous matte effect created by the polishes, so I’d actually advise against it.

Everything sounds phenomenal so far, right? Well, here’s the bad news: these nail lacquers chip like crazy! I painted my nails and, the moment I washed dishes, flaky bits peeled right off my nails — not teeny bits of color the size of dust specks, but pieces larger than crushed red pepper flakes. Within two-days my nails looked like they had some form of nail lacquer leprosy, to the point where even my son said, “Ma, you really need to fill those in.” Yes, y’all, I was shamed by a 9-year old.

I’ve had really good experiences with Maybelline’s Color Show nail lacquers, so I was crushed that these particular polished were so prone to chipping — particularly given how much innovative the effect they created. Nevertheless, if you’re planning on wearing them for an evening out or a special event (read: for a short period of time), they’ll elicit the desired “oohs” and “aahs.”

Available for a limited time only, the collection consists of 10 colors, each retailing for $2.99:

Antique Teal: a turquoise-y teal shade

Red Relic: a cardinal red with scattered crushed pearls in a holographic pink

Plush Plum: a perky plum purple with crushed pearls and scattered glitter in a translucent hot pink

Ageless Olive: a grayish, military green olive shade with charcoal-like flakes and pearls

High Style Sienna: a hot cocoa brown with reddish undertones and more muted, taupe-colored pearls and flakes

Vintage Violet: an intense, ultra dark eggplant purple with crushed metallic purple pearls

Lasting Lilac: a  perky medium-toned lilac

Sage Staple: a grayish light green shade with light gray-toned pearls

Mod Moss: a gold-toned mossy green shade with light golden green flakes

Classic Camel: a coppery brown with light brown crushed flakes

Here’s what the Classic Camel nail polish looks like on nails. As you can see, it’s more of a coppery brown shade, which I personally appreciate. It is, however, a bit more shiny and metallic than the other shades in the collection.

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Next, check out the Red Relic nail polish. I absolutely loved this one! It reminded me of the red leather jacket that Eddie Murphy wore in his Delirious stand-up. The color has nice orange-y undertones but still looks robustly red, and its matte texture is accentuated by the pink-toned crushed pearls in the formula, which are an irregular size and are scattered randomly within the formula for a more haphazard effect.

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I was a bit surprised that the Vintage Leather collection didn’t include a black nail polish since, after all, black leather is as classic as it gets, but the next best thing to black is this Vintage Violet nail polish. As you’ll see in the pictures below, the color is this extremely deep, almost prune-like purple with just the occasional specks of metallic purple to create a spotty, slightly distressed and grunge-y feel.

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Here’s perhaps my favorite nail polish in the collection: Plush Plum. What I love so much about this color is how the magenta-tinged, berry purple color has so many lighter-colored flecks and pearls to give it that worn-in, aged look.

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As you can see, some of these colors are hard to resist, so it’s a shame that they’re so prone to chipping. Again, a top coat might take care of that problem (at least for a bit), but I found that the top coat ruined the matte effect I so loved.

Have you tried these polishes? What did you think?

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