Geek-themed cosmetics can be hit or miss. Sometimes, it seems like companies just attach unrelated series and character names to products for a sales boost. Rainbow Honey is refreshing. Their nail lacquers are clearly created by fangirls, from the perfect Squirtle blue to the exact hues in Rainbow Dash's mane. I was asked to test their latest collection, The Summer of 199X. That's right- there's nail polish inspired by my favorite video game of all time, Earthbound/Mother 2. This makes me happier than a Happy Happyist.
The Summer of 199X is huge- 10 colors in all. It features a ton of sparkle, from shimmering cremes to glittery topcoats. I received samples of The Kraken, Fire Spring, and Lumine Hall. To keep with the theme, I'm also including Tenda, an Earthbound/Mother 2 color from Rainbow Honey's FAB Summer Set.
My friends Jess and Abby offered their opinions (and fingers!) for this review. We're all "real girls" with average nails, and we're pretty sub-par at applying polish. I think this adds honesty and accuracy to our insights... hopefully.
1. LUMINE HALL
Geek Inspiration: Lumine Hall is an emotional place. By the time Ness reaches it, he has seen serious hardship. The walls of Lumine Hall read and expose his thoughts. As an 8-year-old kid, I found this concept horrifying. In here, everyone could see how I felt on the inside, even my parents!
Color: Lumine Hall is an indigo jelly with blue, iridescent glitters and a touch of gold sparkle. The word I'd use to describe it is "regal". The variety of glitter is fun, with a super-pretty reflective quality. Lumine Hall is surprisingly flattering to my pale skin tone. However, to truly capture the video game's color palette, I'd love more green and gold.
Performance: With other brands, I normally apply two coats of a creme, THEN two additional coats of glitter to achieve opacity. Lumine Hall looks done after just two coats. Awesome! Unfortunately, I found the product difficult to apply. These jellies are thick, and large glitters are already finicky. A quality topcoat (I use Seche Vite) smooths things out nicely. Lumine Hall didn't chip at all for three days. When it did, though, all of the polish on a nail would flake off in one, big chunk. Huh!
2. THE KRAKEN
Geek Inspiration: The Kraken is the bully of the sea. Completely unprovoked, it attacks your ship on the way to Scaraba- what a jerk! The creature rains thunder and fire while sailors cower. ...Well, except the Captain. The Captain bravely throws his slippers.
Color: Another jelly, The Kraken is teal with blue, yellow, and green glitter. A coworker described it as "mermaid's tail." I definitely get a fish-y vibe from this shade. It's more fashion-fabulous than sea monster-fierce, which is probably for the best. I compare it to the monster's colorful underbelly.
Performance: All three girls call The Kraken a "must-buy" based on its visual appeal. I get compliments every time I wear it. Like Lumine Hall, though, it is tacky and thick, requiring skilled hands. The color lasted a full weekend with no sign of wear, but then I went back to my day job. Computer work chipped the tips very quickly. Sigh. It was great while it lasted, mermaid fingers.
3. FIRE SPRING
Geek Inspiration: As a kid, I found the map around Fire Spring challenging- so many bad guys! Deep in the Lost Underworld, this area is dark and filled with creeping lava. The vicious Carbon Dog lives here, guarding the sanctuary.
Color: Fire Spring is a bright orange, packed with sparkle. Unlike the previous two shades, this one gets most of its shine from tiny, micro-glitters. In the right light, it can be downright sunny. My memories of Fire Spring on the Super Nintendo are much darker, but this color captures the hopeful side.
Performance: Everyone who tried it agreed- Fire Spring is by far the easiest to apply AND remove. It has the shine of the glitter jellies, but wears like a creme. I didn't experience much chipping, either; more rub-off at the tips than anything. Solid! While Fire Spring was my second favorite, Jess and Abby have seen similar colors from other brands.
Geek Inspiration: These little green men were my favorite part of Earthbound/Mother 2 when I played the first time. This tiny race lives in the shadows of dinosaurs. They're adorable, but painfully shy. Only one thing can help them- an Overcoming Shyness library book. D'awwww... Once cured, the Tenda are playful and brave. They also have the cutest theme music!
Color: At first, I found Tenda too loud. Ironic? The green reminded me of Slimer from Ghostbusters. However, the color grew on me when I discovered its secret: the tiniest gold sparkles imaginable! This quiet detail reminded me of the Tenda themselves. I still don't think Tenda is right for me, but Abby called it the first green she ever really wanted to wear.
Performance: Tenda's texture is reminiscent of products I have from Essie. I'm getting redundant, but the polish is somewhat thick. It dries fast- generally a strength- but this can make a smooth finish hard to achieve. Tenda's opacity is impressive; I'd be happy wearing a single coat. This is a fun color to wear with a glittery topcoat. Chips began appearing on day three, resulting in removal on day four.
Note: Tenda is available exclusively in Rainbow Honey's FAB Summer Set on Fab.com. I've sampled this entire trio, and LOVE the gold bar glitter in Costa del Sol.
The Summer of 199X is a wonderful tribute to Earthbound/Mother 2. Dee is a true fan; she captures several locations and moments from my favorite game. I'd love to get a closer look at Magic Cake and I Miss You, the collection's most original offerings.
Rainbow Honey's jellies are a new experience for me- positive overall. I've never been able to get so much color and sparkle in so few coats! They are difficult to apply, but get tons of attention.
Each RH lacquer lasted about 3 days before chipping. While this isn't the most resilient product ever, RH is "Big 3" and cruelty-free. Remember, I use high-end topcoat, not just the colored polish.
Price-wise, Rainbow Honey isn't always cheap. Individual bottles are $10/each, so I highly recommend splurging for a collection. The $40 set of 10 minis is the best deal. The 4mL bottles are small, but they're just the right size if you're going to have that many to choose from!
Purchase The Summer of 199X HERE. Tenda is available HERE. Rainbow Honey is also on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to leave any additional questions or comments about the lacquers below. Try at least one of them, especially if you're a geek girl!
"GIRL! AM GIRL!" ...Yea, I need to go play Earthbound/Mother 2 again.
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