Greetings fellow polish nerdies! What’s up today? Swatches and review of the Urban Decay XX Vintage 2016 nail polish collection (or most of it).
To mark their 20th anniversary, UD has resurrected all 12 of their original shades as part of this exclusive limited edition collection.
Because I’m a wee bit late to the party, I only managed to get hands on 10. And take note: if you’re lookin’ at my swatches and thinking “I need dat,” you best hurry. Once these are gone, they’re gone. Poof!
urban decay xx vintage 2016 nail polish swatches & review
Urban Decay Pallor Nail Polish - XX Vintage Collection (above). That's 3 coats in 100% natural light. You'll want to use a light touch here, otherwise you'll pull up your coats.
In 1996 I was workin’ hard, paying off student loans, and saving all the rest of my pennies for rent. After hydro and food, there wasn’t much left for polish and I went through a whole bunch of years like that. I have very few bottles of polish from 20 years ago, but if I’d had the dough to buy some of these, I totally I would have.
Urban Decay Pallor Nail Polish - XX Vintage Collection (above). And here she is (in 2 coats) with my desk lamp on to pop the flecky pink shimmer.
Because I never used the original versions, I can’t speak to changes in formula, brushes, colour, or application. I can only tell you what I experienced with these new, limited-edition bottles. I experienced Autumn happy: big happy, big smiles, and crap-tonnes of shimmer in shades that are great for Fall and Winter.
Urban Decay Mildew Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). That's 2 coats to an almost satin-shine finish. I slapped on top coat here to give it some glow.
Most of these are stuffed with so much micro-sparkle they appear metallic. They’re all complicated, moody, 3-free polishes that really benefit from top coat. To me, without top they seem almost lifeless, like they’re just sort of missing something.
Urban Decay UV-B Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). That's 2 coats (no top) and there's a beautiful pink shift in here if you catch the light just right.
Lighting can make a huge difference in the way these Urban Decay nail polishes show, so I’m shooting from arm’s length away under mixed lighting conditions in the hopes I’ve captured the essence of the shades (as opposed to what pigments, shimmers, and sparkles they’re actually made of). If you need to get closer, there’s a slideshow down there somewhere. I’ve recently discovered that while you can’t zoom these pictures, you can totally zoom the ones inside slideshows! Yay!
Urban Decay Radium Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). I love this 2 coat metallic denim blue. A lot.
Okay, so what else can I tell you… Hmm.. Oh! Right! Everything you see here (unless noted) is 2 solid coats of colour. I think the micro-shimmer ends up flattening the finish a little so top coat is a really swell idea: it pops the shimmer, boosts the shine, and gives the polish a depth it doesn’t have by itself. Which top did I use? Revlon Quick Dry top coat. Why that one? Because I like it.
Urban Decay Frostbite Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). Yep, she's almost black and mostly, she looks black. But she's not. She's a sticky, inky, blackened navy that'll get your cuticles on removal if you aren't careful.
The brushes are long things and are pretty much the same as China Glaze brushes, but the formula of these UDXX Vintage shades is fairly thick (and almost sticky). While you still have to watch for gravity blobs, the stuff drips slowly so if you’re quick to paint, you’ll be okay. The polish also tends to sit thick on the brush so if your blob at the polish end of the brush is too big, you’ll have trouble finessing your sidewalls – or that could just be me.
Urban Decay Uzi Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). That's 2 coats (no top) and application was easy but could have been easier if the consistency of the polish had been a touch thinner.
Urban Decay Oil Slick Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). She's not as straight up metallic as Uzi. Instead, she's packed with pink and turquoise micro-shimmer and that's what gives it that metallic look. She applied like a dream and I should have hit her with top coat but I didn't. Oops.
I could also talk about this collection having matching lipsticks (also limited edition) but I don’t care about lipstick – I only care about nailzzzz!
Urban Decay Roach Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). This shade is all over the place this Autumn and you know why? Uh, because this rich chili-chocolate brown is beautiful for Fall!
Urban Decay Smog Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). I never know what to call this shade so I'm going to call it espresso charcoal brown. Yeah, sometimes I flail around inside my brains looking for descriptors that just aren't there, and it's not as fun as it sounds.
Urban Decay Plague Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). Yep, 2 coats + top = beauty. I do love my shimmery purples! Can't help it!
Urban Decay Plague Nail Polish - XX Vintage 2016 (above). The same 2 coats just a little closer. You can't see the crazy amounts of shimmer in there, but you can probably see how much life ended up in this blackened violet. She's so lovely. She's absolutely my winner.
I really wish I’d been able to land the other two magnificent shades (Bruise and Asphyxia), but, sadly, they sold out faster than my #GrabbyHands could grab. I’m going to hunt the web for ‘em after this. But lemme tell you right now: if you see something here that speaks to you (or spoke to you 20 years ago), you’d best point your mouse at UrbanDecay.ca or UrbanDecay.com immediately. Once they’re sold out, they’re sold out.
Urban Decay XX Vintage Nail Polish Collection 2016 SShow
As promised, above is your zoomable slideshow! And now, I’d love to know your thoughts on this bring-back collection! Did you (or do you) have the originals? Are these close? Huh?
Manicures & Photos Karen Falcon (she just had a cookie for lunch).