Date: April 10th, 2012

China Glaze – Smoke and Ashes from Capitol Colours (The Hunger Games): The mystery of the dull version

China Glaze Hunger Games Smoke and Ashes Smoke & Ashes Capitol Colours swatch swatches review District 12 Mining nail blog nail polish blog dull good version sparkly 2 versions

Two versions of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes from the Capitol ColoursThe Hunger Games or no two versions of Smoke and Ashes.. that is the question.

Do you remember my post with the swatches and review about Smoke and Ashes from about a month ago? I was in awe about how sparkly and gorgeous Smoke and Ashes looks in the bottle but disappointed about how dull and how little glass flecks only were visible once applied. The lightbox pictures even showed more glass flecks than I could actually see while looking at my nails in daylight.
There were other swatches of Smoke and Ashes out there which showed a much more sparkly version which looked like the glass fleck fest the bottle promised. How could this be possible? Two versions of Smoke and Ashes? Was there a bad batch out there?

I got my bottle of Smoke and Ashes directly from China Glaze as a sample but this time it actually wasn’t a sample batch because it already had the regular retail sticker and not the sample sticker on the bottom. If there would be a bad batch out there it could be available everywhere.

To investigate the bad batch or dull version mystery the lovely Becky of Nails for Sanity sent me a bottle of the good version of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes which she found at her local Sally’s I believe. Today the bottle arrived and I had to compare both bottles stat! Thank you so much Becky! :)

Is there a bad batch of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes out there? After today I don’t think so:

China Glaze Hunger Games Smoke and Ashes Smoke & Ashes Capitol Colours swatch swatches review District 12 Mining nail blog nail polish blog dull good version sparkly 2 versions

As you can see you can see basically no difference. The swatch above almost looks like the swatch from my first post about Smoke and Ashes. My nails even have almost the same length as back then so the pictures almost look identical but these are new swatches. :D
On my pointer and ring finger I am wearing the Smoke and Ashes Becky sent me and on my middle nail and pinkie I am wearing the Smoke and Ashes I got from China Glaze.

China Glaze Hunger Games Smoke and Ashes Smoke & Ashes Capitol Colours swatch swatches review District 12 Mining nail blog nail polish blog dull good version sparkly 2 versions
China Glaze Hunger Games Smoke and Ashes Smoke & Ashes Capitol Colours swatch swatches review District 12 Mining nail blog nail polish blog dull good version sparkly 2 versions

Now what about the mystery of the dull version? I now believe there is none.
When I removed my first manicure of Smoke and Ashes I alreay could see how many glass flecks the formula of Smoke and Ashes actually contains. It removed like a glitter nail polish because it is full of glass flecks. Was the base too opaque?

If you look at the macro pictures above and below you can see the glass fleck fest I hoped Smoke and Ashes would look like guessing from the bottle. Smoke and Ashes now shows the same gorgeous glass flecks which stand out beautifully from the black or almost black blackened green base I saw in other swatches.

China Glaze Hunger Games Smoke and Ashes Smoke & Ashes Capitol Colours swatch swatches review District 12 Mining nail blog nail polish blog dull good version sparkly 2 versions
POST FAQ
Coats used
China Glaze – Smoke and Ashes: two
Base coat and top coat
Base coat: OPI – Nail Envy Matte
Top Coat: Essence – Better Than Gel Nails Top Sealer
China Glaze nail polishes contain 14 ml.
One bottle of Smoke and Ashes was sent to me by China Glaze for review consideration.

When I had the bottle of Smoke and Ashes from Becky in the mail today I immediately had to swatch it on a nail wheel and was so happy that I now had a bottle of the good version of it too. I already planned to hopefully find more bottles of the good version as backups because I loved how sparkly Smoke and Ashes finally looked.
Of course I wanted to compare the good to the dull version of Smoke and Ashes and grabbed both bottles to swatch them. I even marked the cap of the good bottle. When I started swatching I again was in awe how gorgeous Smoke and Ashes finally looked. Sparkly, full of green and blue glass flecks – perfect. When I then grabbed the dull bottle and swatched it next to the good one they.. looked the same.

What was different? I shaked the bottle very well before I swatched both. The glass flecks must be too heavy for the base which doesn’t suspend them enough from sinking to the bottom. Because any glass fleck, glitter or shimmer looks more sparkly in the bottle you can’t tell from just looking at the bottle that most of the glass flecks fun is sitting at the bottom. There are still many glass flecks visible in the bottle so I didn’t think of this simple solution to the mystery of the dull version of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes before.

You can probably achieve an even more sparkly finish with shaking the bottle a bit more before use and only use a thin coat as your last coat. I wish I had thought of this sooner but I never had this problem with a glass fleck. They never looked dull applied without shaking the bottle before use.

Brooke from SayAnythingBrooke told me on Twitter that there is a second rumor about why Smoke and Ashes can be dull: adding a fast drying top coat.
A fast drying top coat dissolves the nail polish it is layered over a bit to sink into it, build one layer/coat and make it dry faster. If you apply it over Smoke and Ashes it could pick up a bit of the almost black base and layer it over the glass flecks while swiping the brush over your nail. In this case applying the fast drying top coat as fast and with as less swipes as possible would be the best.

Now if you think you have the former mystery dull version you hopefully will find this post helpful and happy shaking! :D

Thanks for looking and have a great week! ♥

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29 thoughts on “China Glaze – Smoke and Ashes from Capitol Colours (The Hunger Games): The mystery of the dull version

  1. Woaaah the complexity that goes into polishes! The polish looks so interesting but I don’t think I can NOT use a fast drying top coat.. Guess this polish isn’t for me! Thank you for this post :)

  2. beachgal on said:

    So maybe I should try this one again and not use my SV top coat? It might be too thick and of course it sets up fast to dry. My bottle of S&A is really black and dull – I cannot even see the flecks your photos show with a 7X magnifying glass.

    • Yes definitely the Seche Vite or basically any fast drying top coat can dull the glass flecks of Smoke and Ashes beachgal. :( What could help is to give Smoke and Ashes a good shake first and then to apply the top coat as fast and with as less brush strokes as possible. :)

  3. Yes! It must be the fast drying top coat. Before putting on some top coat, I noticed the sparkles a lot more and after doing so -even in daylight- they were barely visible. I used Orly Seal-on Topcoat.

  4. another polish with a similar problem is pepe’s purple passion by opi and another polish blogger emptied a bit from the bottle and added some clear polish and the result makes the flecks stand out better. i’d be reluctant to try it but it could be a solution.
    kelliegonzo recently posted..Pretty & Polished – SwingMy Profile

    • Oh I have Pepe’s Purple Passion too Kellie! But sadly it’s an an untried. :(
      I couldn’t try this either because I don’t want to waste any drop of nail polish. When I used up a bit (haha who am I kidding) I could try this though. :)

  5. beachgal on said:

    i was starting to wonder. I have the dull version – I see a lot of swatches and hear of disappointment from bloggers who thought this one would be hot – not! Then I have seen a very few swatches that lots of glass fleck and green shows up and I knew that was not in the bottle I had – thought folks used funny lighting or Photoshoped it to tweak it. So now I know – 2 versions. Thanks.

  6. Caroline on said:

    I forgot where I heard this rumor, but I heard that if you use a nail polish thinner, it will make the glass flecks more prominent. I have not tested this out myself because I currently don’t own the nail polish.

    Thank you for this comparison post!

    • You are very welcome Caroline!
      Currently both of my bottles are pretty full so I can’t add thinner or clear polish and I don’t want to pour anything out from them. :(
      Maybe when I used up a bit. It’s worth a try. :)




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