Friday, March 30, 2012

Zoya Surf Collection - Swatches and Review

For Summer 2012, Zoya is releasing a two-part collection called Beach and Surf. Today I have swatches of the Surf Collection, six shades with a foil/metallic finish.

First up is Carly, a warmer toned purple. This doesn't really feel like summer to me. Carly is a beautiful color, don't get me wrong. I just feel like the rich jewel tone would be a better fit in a fall collection.

Then we have Kimber, a bright pink with almost coral undertones. I am not generally a fan of pinks, but I LOVE this. It makes me think of strawberries and watermelons. It reminds me a bit of China Glaze Strawberry Fields, but the finish is different, of course. Lovely.

Now we have Rory, a rather bubblegum pink with silver shimmer. I didn't expect Rory to be flattering on me, but I was pleasantly surprised. Shades like this one often give me the dreaded zombie hands, but nary a zombie in sight. I'm not sure it's a color I would reach for often, but I can definitely see wearing Rory as a pedi. 

Next up is Myrta, another one that took me by surprise. I think I own two orange polishes - it's just not my thing. I actually think that Myrta is pretty flattering though, and I think it would make a killer summer pedi.

Now we have Meg, my least favorite of the collection. I love green polish, truly I do, but these warmer greens just really don't look very good with my skin tone. Meg was also the one I found most likely to show brush strokes, so that didn't win her any points from me either. I do know some folks that this would look great on though - it's just not really a great shade for me.

And lastly Zuza, the star of the show for me - which is probably no surprise if you know how much I love blues, teals and aquas. =D Aqua foil? Yes, please!

The formula on the Surf Collection is pretty uniform throughout. Not too thick, not too thin, they all flow very easily onto the nail. They're all highly pigmented, and most of them could almost be one-coaters. The one caveat I have about the formula is that a certain amount of care is needed when applying them. They dry fast, almost like a matte or a holo, and because of that they have a tendency to get clumpy and leave bald spots if you go over the same section of the nail too many times. I would also let each coat dry for a couple of minutes between coats to avoid bald spots. If you follow those application tips, though, you should be golden. =)

The entire Surf Collection is shown at two coats with no base or top coat. I think two coats is pretty much fine for all of these, though you might need to go to three coats if you do run into problems with application. I'm wearing Zuza as a full mani right now, and I did three coats just to see if it made a difference, and I don't really see much difference in terms of opacity or richness of color. Zuza dried fast, even at three coats.

All in all, I really like this collection. There were a couple of nice surprises in here for me, colors I wouldn't normally have picked up, but that are actually pretty flattering. I can't really ask for more than that! 

The Zoya Surf Collection (and Beach!) will be available at starting April 1.

These products were sent to me for review.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SinfulColors Morning Star

Morning Star is part of a new SinfulColors display called Girls in Pearls Sheer Shimmer Collection. Note:  They aren't sheer. *shrug* The Girls in Pearls Sheer Shimmer Collection is a mix of re-promoted shades and new shades. The new ones all seem to be the same type of milky, glass flecked finish as Cinderella. Morning Star is a lovely soft periwinkle - not quite purple, but definitely more purple leaning than Cinderella. All of these photos were taken in natural light, some in direct sunlight and some in the shade.

Much like Cinderella, the formula on Morning Star was a little thick. I thinned it after I finished my first coat, and that definitely helped matters. I ended up using three coats because I had some streaking issues after my second coat. That's not a huge complaint though; I feel like the end result was definitely worth it.

One of my favorite things about Morning Star is that it's light, but the finish makes it look soft rather than stark like so many pastels. The shimmer isn't super evident, but I believe that the little glass flecks are what give it this soft finish. I absolutely love this.

I feel like Sinful has really been hitting it out of the park lately with their newer releases. We're seeing interesting shades in more interesting finishes, and that's pretty impressive from a drugstore brand that retails for $1.99.

I was also really impressed with the wear on Morning Star. Often I change my polish so often that I can't really comment on wear, but I ended up wearing Morning Star for about four days, and it still looked perfect when I removed it - no chipping, no tip wear to speak of. Very, very nice! =)

Happy Hump Day, folks. Thanks for reading!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

NerdLacquer Cyance Friction

NerdLacquer is one of my favorite brands right now, and Cyance Friction has taken over the top spot as my favorite NerdLacquer to date. 

Teal base. Turquoise square glitter. Copper hexes in two sizes. Copper shimmer. All topped with a pink flash. What a fabulous combination.

The formula is great, what you see here is two easy coats. I know that other folks have had issues with getting much of the chunky glitters to show up on their nails, but I didn't even struggle with mine to get it to look this way. I gave it a really good shake before applying it though, so that may have something to do with it. That's standard operating procedure for me with chunkier glitters because I know that they tend to settle.

For a turquoise lover like me, this is pretty much perfection in a bottle. I absolutely adore it. I took a ton of pictures in both full sunlight and shade to try and show off the pink flash. Here you go:

NerdLacquers are available through Etsy, here, though be warned - demand for these has been very high, and Amanda often has to close up shop while she catches up on orders. They are also available at Harlow & Co., as well as Think Geek, but again, they're not always in stock. These babies are completely worth the wait to me though. =)

Happy Friday, y'all! Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SinfulColors Neptune

Neptune is the second polish that I bought from Sinful's Cast Away collection. Just like Zeus, Neptune is another winner from Sinful. (Please excuse how odd my fingers look in these pics. The sun was super bright out yesterday, and it totally washed out my pale skin. The polish is color accurate though!)

Neptune is like the darker, more saturated cousin of several of the blues we've seen in recent collections - it's reminiscent of OPI I Have a Herring Problem and Zoya Skylar, but it is decidedly more blue than either of those. The finish is the same though, that lovely almost micro flake shimmer.

The formula on Neptune is really great - not too thin, not too thick, easy to control. Full coverage in two easy coats. My bottle of Zeus had a wonky brush, but Neptune's brush was just fine. 

I honestly couldn't be happier with this polish. I feel like Sinful has really been upping their game lately, and it's so nice to see a $1.99 drugstore brand putting out interesting shades and finishes.

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Thanks for reading! =)

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses - A Christmas Polish for St. Patrick's Day

As I was digging through my drawer of green polishes trying to figure out what to wear for St. Patrick's Day, I came across a polish that I hadn't worn in a while - Mistletoe Kisses from the China Glaze 2010 holiday collection.

This is one of those perfect China Glaze glitters. Great formula, opaque in two easy coats, insanely sparkly. Just amazing.

I remember being so surprised when Mistletoe Kisses was released because it's such a light green and holiday collections typically tend to feature darker greens. While I do love Mistletoe Kisses as a holiday polish, it really feels like spring when I look at my nails right now. I think this was a great choice for my St. Patty's Day mani. =)

Total love. I must remember to wear this one more often!

Happy Saturday, and Happy St. Patrick's Day! Thanks for reading. =)
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SinfulColors Zeus

I finally happened upon Sinful's spring collection, Cast Away, at my local Walgreen's a couple of days ago. I only picked up two, Zeus and Neptune, as I deemed the rest of the display to be too close to other colors that I already have in my stash. Zeus is totally dreamy though, check it out.

Dusty purple with pink shimmer. I absolutely freaking love this polish.

Two easy coats, great formula, great opacity. The brush was a tad wonky, but nothing I couldn't deal with.

I've read that Cast Away is a limited edition collection, but I really hope this one finds its way into the permanent display. I feel like Sinful has really been stepping up their game lately, which is so nice to see in a cheaper brand.

Total love. ♥

Thanks for reading!
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Some New Barielle Shades - Swatches and Comparisons

Barielle has added something like 90 new shades to their lineup, and I ordered four of them a couple of weeks ago. Once they arrived, I realized that I had somewhat similar colors in my stashes for three of them, so I did some comparisons. Here we go.

First up is Lilly of the Valley. It's a little sheer, but it built up okay after three coats. The formula is decent - a little on the watery side, but nothing horrible.

This reminded me a lot of FingerPaints Sketch N Etch. As you can see in this pic, they're not exactly dupes, but they are pretty close. Overall, I like Sketch N Etch better. I feel like the color is deeper, and the fact that it's slightly cooler makes it more wearable for me.

Next is Island Breeze. The formula on this one was better than Lilly of the Valley. It's opaque in two coats.

The closest thing I own to Island Breeze is Orly Bailamos. Bailamos is lighter, but these polishes are definitely cousins.

Then we have Sky's the Limit. Great formula, two coats, no complaints.

The interesting thing about Sky's the Limit is that it's nearly identical to FingerPaints Artistic Azure, which is one of my very, very favorite blues, and which is now discontinued. If you've had a yen for Artistic Azure, this could be a great replacement for it. They are even more alike in person than they look in this picture.

And finally, End of the Rainbow. Sadly, I am not a fan of this one at all. It was still patchy and kind of transparent at three coats, and it's frostier than it looks in these pictures. One of my friends said that it looked better layered over black and that it may look good layered over a darker teal, so I guess I'll try that before tossing it in the swap box. But on its own... yeah, not thrilling.

Overall, I guess I'm a little disappointed. They aren't bad, exactly, but they certainly aren't unique. The formula on them wasn't good enough to make me really want to chose them over the other similar colors I own. I'll probably keep Sky's the Limit just because Artistic Azure is discontinued and I love it so much. I'm afraid the others are probably destined for my swap box.

I hope these comparisons and swatches are helpful! Thanks for reading. =)
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Layla Flash Black

I mentioned in this post that I had ordered both Ocean Rush and Flash Black, so here's Flash Black. I actually don't have tons to add to that post, so this will be mostly pictures. =D

Gorgeous, right?

I mentioned in my post about Ocean Rush that I had used my GOSH Fix base coat, and that I would try my regular base coat next time I wore one of these to see if an aqua base is really necessary. This polish was really not happy when I tried to apply it over my regular base coat (Pro FX Epoxy Bond). The application was so patchy that I took the polish off the first nail and started over. I actually layered my GOSH Fix over Epoxy Bond, and the polish still wasn't happy - you can't see it in these pics, but I had some odd lumpiness and streaks going on. Now, I have applied a lot of holos without an aqua base. This one probably would have evened out in several coats. But GOSH Fix makes these apply SO much better. I think it's definitely worth putting these over an aqua base.

So there you have it. If you like holos at all, I'm afraid that you need these. They are simply magnificent.

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend. Thanks for reading!

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