I’ve been on the hunt for a cool nail shade for almost as long as I can remember. I don’t mean “cool” as in “has 50 different glitter shapes stuffed in one bottle” or “magically makes patterns when you hover a magnet over it,” although both these things are cool in my non-minimalist beauty book. No, I’m talking about the shade that instantly ups your beauty cred with one application, because I’m telling you it does exist—Chanel Black Satin is a particularly good example. The problem is, the black that looks so chic on others just doesn’t work on me (black in general makes it look like I’ve gotten a little too carried away with a Sharpie). The always-popular navy blue has a similar effect, and the one time I made a halfhearted attempt at painting my nails an almost-black green, they just looked a little…wheatgrass-y. And smudged.
So I was delighted when I finally, finally found my cool-girl shade and it also happened to cost less than $5. It’s got the appropriately dignified moniker of Russian Roulette (dignified in that it doesn’t attempt any sort of cringe-inducing pun), and it’s part of Sonia Kashuk‘s fall line. Sonia Kashuk, in case you didn’t know, is the queen of delivering luxury at drugstore prices—not to mention a legendary makeup artist. All this is to say I’m not all that surprised I discovered my perfect polish from her line, given that I’ve sworn by her products for years. Her ultra-portable travel lash curler was actually the subject of my very first blog post (alas, it has long since disappeared into the murky depths of my collection). But I digress…
In the bottle, the color looks like a red shimmer with hints of gold—pretty, but hardly anything to get excited over. It’s described as a “metallic black ruby,” perhaps to account for the blackened, smoky base. But neither of those descriptions quite do justice to the color once you paint it on, at once chocolate and eggplant. In some lights, it’s the glossiest aubergine. In others, the base reddens and lights up with burgundy shimmer. And when the sun hits, it turns into a breathtaking molten-brown-over-mink, shot through with pink and gold. It’s a true shape-shifter, but no matter the lighting, it always manages to make my nails look expensive. And cool, very cool.
The formula is a true two-coater and big 3-free (is anything not these days?), plus it holds up quite well. At $4.79, I cannot think of a single good reason to leave this one on the shelves. $5 for polish perfection? I’ll take it.
P.S. Curious about the woman behind the line? Check out Sonia Kashuk’s seven staples here.
Full Disclosure: The product featured in this post is a press sample. For more information on my review policy, please refer to my disclaimer.