The PolishAholic has the new Gwen Stefani Holiday Collection from OPI

I first mentioned this set in June.



Now The PolishAholic, queen of swatches, has the set for your perusal.  Check out her great-as-always swatches and photos HERE.

The set, as previewed, is very heavy on the reds.  Nothing grabs me as a must-buy, but the shimmery dark purple First Class Desires is my favorite.  Since I have the new Sansa from Zoya, though, I’m good.

Ignite Sansa

Happy Labor Day!


A totally new use for nail polish

We’ve used clear nail polish to fix the runs in our pantyhose.  We’ve maybe even glued some ceramic with it.  Some people make jewelry with it.  Some paint on paper with it and create art.

But now, drug detection.  I’m not kidding:

This is not a joke and has been reported on CBS, ABC, USA Today, and many other news outlets.  Please note that while I am of course vehemently opposed to any kind of assault, I’m not promoting Undercover Colors yet until I read some independent research or tests on the polish’s accuracy.  Just thought I’d throw the idea out there as an interesting conversation piece.


Many of you enjoyed the local law enforcement tidbits from our small town newspaper that I posted a few weeks ago.  Here are some new goodies:

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office received a call Monday from an elderly Bigfork woman who stated that she had just seen the ubiquitous “Life Alert” commercial on TV.  The woman was calling to make sure 911 worked, because if it did, she figured she wouldn’t need a private emergency service.  No word on what 911 dispatch thought about the call, but we can imagine.

A woman called officers to report a cow that had its head stuck in a fence on U.S. 93 North.  Officers observed a herd of cattle nearby, several of which were eating the grass on the other side of the fence.  None of the cows were stuck, but according to the officer, “apparently the grass IS greener on the other side of the fence.”

A happy citizen called to let law enforcement know that he had seen a deer on Baker Avenue early Tuesday morning and “it was magnificent.”

And in the “Oh, the Irony” department:  A road rage incident was reported near Peaceful Drive.

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend — goodbye to summer and hello, autumn!


Vintage from Sinful Colors

How about another budget-friendly polish from Sinful Colors?  I’m always up for those!

Here’s a new polish called Vintage.  In the store (Walgreens, SRP $1.99) and under fluorescent light, I thought Vintage was a dark gray with a green tone.  But, no, it’s a dark shimmery silver-green.

Despite the heavy shimmer, visible brushstrokes weren’t a problem.  The formula is a bit sheer and I needed three coats.  Under indirect bright outdoor light, it gives me lobster hands (makes my skin look red):

Vintage outd light

Under indoor artificial light, not so much:

Vintage ind light

Where it really sparkles — literally — is in direct sunlight.  Outdoors was too bright for my camera so I took a picture of my nails resting on a windowsill inside, but still in direct sun:

Vintage sun

Looking through my Mountain o’ Stash, I have two polishes that are close but not identical, Rikki from Zoya and Rags to Riches from Rimmel.  Both of those are lighter and not as grayed or neutral.

Rikki outd

Rags to Riches outd

I love Vintage as a darker silvery green for fall while Rags to Riches is a fave for spring.

Sale at TooFaced!

Been looking for some great matte eye shadows?  Run, don’t walk, to the sale at TooFaced.

There’s a set called Bonjour Beautiful that not only contains my favorite matte eye shadow palette, but also a four-color lip set and an eyeliner.  And the price is great, $18, down from $39.  I know TooFaced’s products can be a bit spendy, that’s why sales like this are so nice.  The SRP for just the eye shadow palette was $36!

TF Matte

I use this one all the time.   All matte, no shimmer, no glitter.  Great pigmentation.

There are other palettes for sale too.  I’m tempted by some of the smaller travel ones.


Blogger Will Paint Nails for Food has the new China Glaze All Aboard Collection

Last month I posted news of China Glaze’s fall set, All Aboard.  It was hard to tell from the preview pictures what the polishes really looked like, but blogger Will Paint Nails for Food has the entire collection swatched for your perusal.

Here are her Part One and Part Two.  Go look; I’ll wait.

CG All Aboard six set

CG All Aboard six set 2

Will Paint Nails for Food has gorgeous nails, photos, and swatches, yet I’m not drawn to buy any of these new colors, unlike China Glaze’s fall set last year, Autumn Nights, where I had to have several.

I agree with WPNfF that Choo-Choo Choose You is one of the more unique shades I’ve seen lately.  Strangely fascinating, but don’t think it would look good on my skin tone.  Great on hers, though!  Don’t Get Derailed is a good Army green, and the glitter Loco-Motive would be good for a Halloween mani.  Stop That Train! is a pretty brick red shimmer if you don’t have one of those.

Thanks, Will Paint Nails for Food!

More comparisons!

Disclosure:  The Ignite, Entice, and some of the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

As a followup to my review of Zoya’s new fall collections, Ignite and Entice, I want to show you some more comparisons.  Most of the comparison suggestions came from YOU, my readers — thank you very much!  Great ideas.  I got some surprises, so let’s see if you do too.

The wonderful copper foil Autumn probably generated the most requests for comparisons.  Here it is with OPI DS Indulgence and China Glaze Harvest Moon.

Ignite Autumn comp5

Ignite Autumn comp6

They look closer in the bottles than on the nail.  DS Indulgence is much redder and Harvest Moon is more yellowish.  (Sorry the swatch photo is out of focus.)

Comparing Autumn to Butter London’s Shag and Brown Sugar…

Ignite Autumn comp4

… Shag is similar but a bit darker.  Brown Sugar is not close because its pink-purple base makes it more of a plum-toned brown.  Also, the Butter London shades each required three coats and Autumn only needed two.

An alert reader asked for a side-by-side of India with Zoya’s Anastasia from the older Magique Collection.  Anastasia is no longer available on Zoya’s web site.

Ignite India comp2

Wow, I would say they are close enough in color to call duplicates.  However, Anastasia is thinner and required one more coat.  I’d say if you have Anastasia you don’t need to rush to buy India, but if you have neither and want one, I’d recommend India because of its better formula.  Anastasia may be available on some other e-tailer sites.

Remy was the one-coat wonder from the Ignite Collection.  Comparing it to Muse from the Bubbly Collection earlier this year, Remy is much darker and Muse has holographic glitter.  And Muse needed three coats.

Ignite Remy comp3

Zoya’s Dream has been one of my favorite blue polishes.  Next to Remy, you can see that Dream is more of a royal blue instead of teal blue, and it has tiny sparkles that look like stars.  I recommend both polishes highly.

Ignite Remy comp2

Finally, let’s look at one of the cremes from the Entice set, Veronica, and see how it looks next to Zoya’s Ashley, another shade that’s not currently listed at Zoya’s site.

Entice Veronica comp3

Extremely close.  Ashley is a hair darker.  If I already had Ashley I probably wouldn’t get Veronica.

As a P.S., let me point you towards a very useful blog called The Polish Garden.  She has a list that’s the dream of obsessive-compulsives like me — almost all the Zoya collections with dates, names, and pictures.  Look here.  Better believe I bookmarked that!

Disclosure:  The Ignite, Entice, and some of the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Giving you the brush-off

Let’s talk makeup brushes!

I’m inspired to do this because lately I’ve been e-bombarded by ads telling me to buy the latest and greatest makeup brushes.  The variety of brushes — styles, handle lengths, bristle thicknesses, angles, and on and on — is mind-boggling, as are some of the prices.  Sorry, I’m not paying more for one makeup brush than I am for a nice new shirt or pair of shoes.  What are these $50+ brushes made of, imported albino yeti fur?

Until recently, I never bought or used separate makeup brushes at all.  I used whatever came with the drugstore makeup I bought, usually little sponge-tipped applicators or velour puffs.  With some eyeshadows, I used (and still use) my fingertips.  Then when I started dabbling in higher-end makeup I started reading more reviews and watching video reviews, and many people used brushes and seemed to get better results.

I bought a few inexpensive brushes and quickly discovered that I have an issue that you may or may not share:  I am extreeeeeemely nearsighted, to the point of being legally blind without my glasses.  When I apply makeup, I have to have my face so close to a mirror that my nose is almost touching it, so I cannot use brushes with a long or even standard-size handle.

Travel sizes to the rescue!  Here are two small sets that I bought at Ulta:  Eco Tools Fresh & Flawless 5-Piece Complexion Set and Eco Tools 6-piece Cosmetic Set (the latter counts the bag as one of the pieces, and it is handy for travel).  The SRP is $14.99 and $11.49, respectively, but I got them on sale, plus you can find this brand at Target and other big box stores.

Ecotools set box

Ecotools box open

Ecotools brushes

Ecotools set2

Ecotools brushes2

I love these little brushes and while I’m still learning how to best use them, I gotta admit that cheap sponge-tipped applicators just aren’t cutting it any more.  They now feel so hard and harsh.  Some better makeup items come with their own brushes.

If you’ve never used makeup brushes before and would like to make the leap, start small.  First, decide what you want them for — mineral foundation, blush, eyeshadow?  The company e.l.f. makes a variety of $1 brushes that you can try individually without a big hit to your pocketbook.  Before I realized how my vision issue would affect using makeup tools, I bought a long-handled e.l.f. brush for powder foundation and it was fine except that I couldn’t see what I was doing.

I also recommend watching some how-to videos about brushes if you’re so inclined.  One of my favorite beauty products reviewers is EmilyNoel83 on YouTube who also has a channel and Facebook page called Beauty Broadcast.  I have no illusions that I will ever look like her — for one thing she’s young enough to be my daughter (she features her beautiful mom in a couple of her videos!), and she used to be an on-TV personality — but I love many of her tips and suggestions.  Two of her videos about brushes are called My Most-Used Makeup Brushes! and Favorite ELF Brushes!

Emily does wear heavier makeup than I would be comfortable with but I can see how to tone things down for my age and for a look I’d like.  And I used to be envious of what I thought was her perfect skin, but a recent video she did about melasma (the skin discoloration from pregnancy; she’s currently 8 months pregnant with her first child) showed me that (a) her skin isn’t perfect, and (b) she covers up discolorations with makeup like the rest of us.  Big props to her for showing us those “before” pictures and giving us encouragement!

Which digresses from the brush topic.  I’m still really a brush newbie.  Do you use brushes?  Which ones?  Have you found some real winners, either in price or performance or both?



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