Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nature's Accident is My Gain: Robin Egg Blue Polish

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@Reductionista), you'll have seen that I was rather distraught this week with the discovery of an empty and broken robin's egg shell on my front lawn. I was late for work and was in too much of a hurry to do more than snap a quick shot and assume the worst. The poor egg was the unfortunate victim of foul (or "fowl" as Dovey suggested) play!


It was still sitting there when I came home, so I scooped it up and brought it in for a long study. How often does one come across a robin's egg after all? (Once every few year for me, actually, but this is the first time I cared so much.)


It was dusk by the time I got around to pulling out some nail colours to see which shade was the closest match. I immediately thought of Dior St. Tropez, Chanel Riva (reviewed here) and Chanel Coco Blue. Even in the dim lighting you can tell that Coco Blue is a total mismatch. Riva seemed to be the best contender.

Indoor at dusk

Indoor with flash

Indoor with flash

Indoor with flash

Under flash, the robin's egg shows a hint of shimmer that seems to be mimicked by Chanel Riva. I was rather delighted because Riva is a disappointment in terms of formulation and quality. Say what you will about Chanel's nail polish quality but their shades are always phenomenal.

Indoor with flash

But seeing the mismatch of Coco Blue brought to mind another contender: China Glaze For Audrey (reviewed here).

Indoor with flash

Indoor with flash

Indoor with flash

Indoor with flash

For Audrey looked to be the closest match! And it was confirmed the following morning when sunlight revealed it was indeed so.









O little egg! We honour thee.

After some browsing, it seems that "Tiffany blue" is just one variation of the robin egg blue. In this case, the egg I found is a Tiffany blue since it matches For Audrey which was created as an homage to Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I came across some interesting things about robins and the eggs while casually googling:
  • According to this article, the colour of the egg determines how much interest the male robin takes in the newborns - the deeper the blue, the more food it feeds the newborn! Frankly I'm a little concerned by that. >:P
  • The mother lays only four eggs and lays only one egg per day. She rotates her position and application of body temperature to incubate all four eggs under the same condition, so that they will hatch all at the same time rather than one at a time. That's some diligent mothering! (Source)
  • At 1:42 of this video recording the hatching of a baby robin, I was surprised to see the mother robin taking away the empty shell to create more room in the nest for the newborn! I wonder now if the shell I found was a discard from the nest after a successful hatch. Frankly I thought the egg was the victim of rambunctious squirrels doing embryo shots. Oh yeah, and don't watch the video if you get squeamish at the sight of raw newborn birds.

Sometimes I feel like I've gone overboard with nail polish purchases and that having so many similar colours are useless and a waste of money. However, after an exercise like this, I always feel justified in having many shades of the same colour family to compare and contrast various items to. And as you know, this sort of blue is one of my very favourites.

Which is your favourite robin egg blue, whether it's nail polish or something else? Is this egg the result of fowl play or the birth of a new robin? Hopefully it's the latter in this case and soon I'll see more of these flying around the neighbourhood.

Source

48 comments:

  1. Hi Liz, I'm so excited that you picked up and photographed the egg! I've never seen one so up close :) This is really one of the coolest entries ever. It's really interesting to know that For Audrey and tiffany blue are so close to a real egg!

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    1. Thanks, Dovey. :) You're right that we all subconsciously associate Tiffany blue with the robin egg but it's probably the last thing we really think of when staring at jewellery or applying nail polish. Now that I've been aware of our robin population, I see them all the time in the yard. Here's hoping there will be many more successful hatchings!

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  2. Haha! I thought when you found the egg that it had been full of gooey embryo stuff, which is why you were all depressed. Otherwise my first thought would have been hey, the robin hatched! Hurray! Hahahaha. How hilarious. Those are some cool facts, though! I love birds, and there are no robins in HI. I only started seeing them when I moved up here. I think they're odd sorts of birds, though, as I see them running around on the ground more often than I see them flying! And there are a lot of them here.

    This entry was super cool, and I know you love that shade of turquoise. I do think sometimes we get caught up in similar shades, but if you have a love for it and you sometimes feel like picking one over the other for some subtle nuance, it's worth it, isn't it?

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    1. If the egg was full of gooey stuff, I probably wouldn't have picked it up, lol.

      I think eventually if picking up extra polishes really gets out of hand, I'll have to do a swatch comparison and weed out duplicates in the style of All Lacquered Up. (I really wish she would come back to blogging regularly!)

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  3. Very cool post Liz! Love Robins-their song is so pretty especially when most of the birds I hear are Magpies squawking!

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    1. Lately I'm enjoying all the bird noises! The worst are bluejays because they are freaking LOUD and won't ever shut up. Such bullies. lol

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  4. What an awesome post! If you didn't have such an impressive nail collection you wouldn't have been able to make us appreciate such a beautiful colour. Well done! I think it's safe to say that the egg has hatched and the baby is out an about now :). That video is also incredible. Birds tend to creep me out but watching the mom warm up her newborn and make room for it made me smile!

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    1. Thanks, S! I find the hatching process fascinating. They expand so much energy poking their way out of the egg. I also love when they're bigger and fluffier and squawking in their nests for more food. :D

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  5. I've never seen/heard a robin! Since the egg is so clean I choose to believe it's safely hatched and flown off :D

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  6. amazing. this post was such an interesting read as i'm into nail polish, and have never heard of/seen a robin (and their eggs of coz)

    this is very clever and fun - and yes - i feel justified to buy different shades of the same colour nail polish. :P lol

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    1. Thanks, Jacq! LOL, thanks for pitching in on my justification. :>

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  7. Ok...I'm going to go with the mama bird tossing the egg shell out for more room theory -- any other version is much too painful. Love the comparisons and different lighting; really helps to see what real "robin's egg blue" actually looks like - we hear the term often enough in beauty blogging, am I right?

    You already know how much I adore aqua hues and to that end, I really should do a head count to see how many I own, but one that I come back to quite often is a-england's 'Galahad' - so creamy and with such amazing coverage! If it's a little bit of shimmer I'm looking for, then CHANEL's 'Nouvelle Vague' is my other favourite stand-by ... and I totally regret never having picked up a backup..... :(

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    1. Yes, it was a successful birth! :D

      I would LOVE to see your aqua collection. I'd be swooning on the floor and you'll have to feed me lots of coffee and amazing Greek food to wake me up. ;) I regret not even knowing about Nouvelle Vague's special quality when it came out - some day it'll be mine!

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  8. PS: I forgot to add something: I don't think that the bird photo at the end is that of a robin, unless that's what they look like in Toronto! The ones we have here are larger and the features rather different -- let me know if I'm wrong!

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    1. The picture is of a robin but it's not the kind that flies around these parts either. I just picked it because it's prettier, lol! Our American robins are less glamorous and earthier looking. Now if you see me collecting different types of robin eggs, do shake some sense into me. :)

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    2. Hahaha! I'll keep it in mind - that, and a straight jacket (designer, of course!) You're so right about our Robins being a lot less glamourous than that little cutie...and have you seen them when they race across a lawn - head down, wings tucked it, then they abruptly stop, and raise their heads with a quick snap! Too funny!

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    3. They're such pigs that they're always looking for food on the ground instead of singing in the trees. ;) Although one of them nearly took my head off by accident the other day while whizzing through the air. I think we get a lot around my house because of our giant oak trees and lack of pesticides in the garden. :)

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  9. OH Liz, that is so sad!! I would have been distraught as well!!!!!! That said, this is a brilliant and creative post! Robin's egg blue is gorgeous!

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    1. I think the consensus is that the egg hatched! :)

      Thanks for your nice comment!

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  10. What an awesome idea for a post, I've never seen a robin's egg! The nail polishes are gorgeous too :)

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  11. I agree with everyone! Great post, all Thea shades are gorgeous and seem to bring out the color more in the egg!

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  12. Ooh, what a fun post! :) Haha, I love that your first thought when seeing a robin's egg shell was, "I'm going to do a compare and contrast with my nail polishes!" I would've done the same thing, lol.

    My favourite robin's egg blue nail polishes are Chanel's Nouvelle Vague, China Glaze's For Audrey, Dior's Saint-Tropez, and Julep's Robin. :) Coincidentally, it's also my favourite colour for nails...

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    1. Well, the first thought was "Poor robin!" Second was "NAIL POLISH!!!!!!!!"

      I swear some day I'll have Nouvelle Vague. It's taunting me!

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  13. Woot! I have For Audrey and always thought it was extra special - must be because of that soft baby blue robin's egg shade. Great inspired post Liz!

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    1. I was on the hunt for For Audrey for years and was amazed at its gorgeousness the first time I wore it! Yay!!

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  14. This is possibly the most creative and dedicated beauty discovery we've come across yet!

    Love this idea; we're definitely going to take more notice of nature's true colors now. Thanks for this insight and we'll now have renewed appreciation for this shade of blue! (:

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    1. Thank you! =)

      I'm always admiring colours in natural world but we have so few opportunities to bring sample specimen into the home, ya know?

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  15. It's crazy how much lighting changes colors...at the beginning of the post I thought Riva was a dead on match, and then it turned out to be For Audrey. Fooled me!

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    1. RIGHT??? I wonder how many things I put on in dim lighting thinking they looked good when they really didn't.

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  16. I think it was definitely a successful birth. And what a beautiful egg! And lovely polish colors. I only have two light blues like that, a WNW For Audrey dupe and Zoya Wednesday, which is greener (and which therefore works better on my skin, as it doesn't give me corpse hands––oh, the trials of being pale and cool toned! So easy to look like a zombie). I always love looking at such colors on others, though!

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    1. I love Wednesday and wanted it but thought it would be way too similar to these guys. I think it's a touch brighter than everything else I have though, so maybe I can find a way to justify that in the future. :> I don't think these will give you corpse hands but I also won't encourage that you begin hoarding nail polish in this manner, LOL.

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  17. Larie's comment---> :D

    I certainly hope it was the latter case! Love that you pulled out the nail polishes Liz, true beauty blogger! For Audrey is just such a gorgeous color, I've heard you can still find those at Sally's Beauty Supply, so I will go in search of that soon.

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    1. You'll have to let me know if you can find it or not! For Audrey is a classic keeper!

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  18. What a cool post Liz!! I find it so interesting to see how the actual Robin's egg compared to the polishes, as it's sometimes a common way of describing a shade - now we know for sure what it looks like! I like that it justifies owning several versions of certain shades too - and I think you are WELL justified in owning a few of these blues, because it is your favorite and truth be told, the shade looks absolutely amazing on you every single time. Enjoy it to the max my dear!

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    1. Well, we know how one kind looks like at least. :) You're very kind and I think these shades look good on almost everyone. In the end I did feel each shade was sufficiently different enough to warrant keeping. :)

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  19. It's totally okay to go overboard with stuff you enjoy.

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  20. American robins are completely different to what we call robins in the UK.

    Really interesting post, now I need to finds stockist of China Glaze.

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    1. There are different kinds of most things. Ours are quite plain, I fear.

      China Glaze is very cheap and common - I'm sure you can find an online carrier as well. Good luck!

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  21. What a great post! We don't get any robins in Miami (at least I haven't ever seen any here). I love the beautiful blue shade of the eggshell. This has inspired me to pull out my bottle of For Audrey for my next pedi! :)

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    1. Thanks, MM! It might have been your bird watching posts that got me inspired to feel kindlier toward birds lately. :) I'm sure For Audrey looks stunning on you - enjoy!

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  22. Absolutely great post. I love the whole Robin's Egg story a jut how they are hatched!

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  23. OK, I've never seen a robin's egg before. I guess we don't have robins out here or something along those lines. You've shown me something new, I mean I never even thought of the eggshell being blue. It makes sense, and now that I say it I realize how dumb I was to not even consider it. Oh good gravy, what a duh moment. The question is why am I typing it?

    Now I want to put on blue nail polish, man I am so suggestible.

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    1. Hey, how are we to know until we see it, right?? When I lived in Korea, I thought blue eyes were fake and purely for cartoons until I came to Canada and encountered blondes and real blue eyes.

      Glad to have inspired a mani. ;)

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