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?

 

Twitter Party with Zoya!

Are you a Tweeter?  Twitterer?  Twit?  Wait, scratch that last one.

Zoya is having a Twitter Party and you’re invited!

image001

Here’s the press release with a few words and phrases that I’ve bolded for emphasis:

You and your stylish friends are invited to talk all things Fall with ZOYA!

Join us on Twitter Wednesday, August 27th from 8-9pm EST (5-6pm PST). We’ll cover the hottest nail colors for Fall, trends from the NYFW (New York Fashion Week) runways and much more (ahem, giveaways)!

In addition, there will be a special Q&A session with the woman behind our 300+ color assortment – ZOYA’s Creative Director, Rebecca Isa. So get your questions ready!

How it Works:

·         Follow @ZoyaNailPolish on Twitter.

·         Zoya will release a series of questions marked Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.

·         Reply to these questions with the corresponding A1, A2, A3, etc.

·         Use the hashtag #FALLingForZoya so Zoya (and everyone else) can find your tweets easily!

Did someone say PRIZES?! Join in on the fun and you could WIN*! Followers that participate and answer questions throughout the Twitter Party will automatically be entered to win special prizes from the Naturel 2 and Entice & Ignite Collection at random.

PLUS – Enter to win a full Fall Zoya Nail Polish Wardrobe! All you have to do is upload a picture of your ZOYA manicure at any time during the Twitter Chat (8-9pm EST) and tell us which shade(s) you’re wearing to the party. Don’t forget to include #FALLingForZoya. The grand prize winner will be announced at the end of the event following the Q&A session.

*Terms & Conditions: No purchase necessary to participate or win. Promotion begins Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 8pm EST. Entry via Twitter ONLY – Twitter account must be on public setting and must follow @ZoyaNailPolish to be eligible to win. Giveaway winners will be DM’d codes – codes are not valid in conjunction with other coupons, codes or promotions. Continental US only. Art of Beauty is not responsible for incorrect addresses, credit card entry errors, web related issues or any errors associated with declined credit cards. Returns or exchanges of promotional items not permitted. This Twitter party is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Twitter, Inc.

Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments | zoya.com

The Entice Collection from Zoya — swatches and comparisons

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

Hope you enjoyed my review and comparisons of the new Ignite Collection yesterday.  I sure did!

Today I’m back with Entice, a set of six cremes for fall.  Official photos:

Zoya Entice Ignite 4

Zoya Entice Ignite 3

  • ZP748 ­ Nyssa: Milk Chocolate Brown
  • ZP749 ­ Claire: Rich Burgundy
  • ZP750 ­ Veronica: Brilliant Wine
  • ZP751 ­ Margo: Red Plum
  • ZP752 ­ Ryan: Classic Indigo
  • ZP753 ­ Genevieve: Leather Grey

And my set in the same order:

Entice set

All six Entice polishes had a very good formula and good coverage, and unless otherwise noted I used two coats of polish with no top coat.  The swatch photos are under indirect cloudy outdoor light and most of the bottle shots are with a fill flash.  (I apologize for some of the less-than-perfect applications.  I’m having some vision problems today and, no, I have not been drinking and swatching!)  ;-)

Calling Nyssa a milk chocolate brown is spot on.  It reminds me of the old M&M color, the lighter brown.  For some reason, that was always my favorite M&M color, and then they discontinued it.

Entice Nyssa

Surprisingly, Nyssa is very close to another new color from Zoya, Chanelle from the Naturel Deux set.  Chanelle is lighter and not a dupe, but unless you must have every chocolate shade ever made (and there’s nothing wrong with that), I think having one or the other would be fine.

Entice Nyssa comp

Claire is a gorgeous, fashionable dark red, aka burgundy or oxblood.  This shade is a must-have for fall in my book.  It seemed slightly thinner than the other Entice colors and I used three coats.

Entice Claire

I compared it to another Zoya oxblood polish I have and love, Norra.  They are very close, but Norra is a bit more wine-toned and also has a faint silver shimmer.  Claire is a little more brown-toned.

Entice Claire comp2

Also, I thought Claire might be close to last year’s Pepper in the Cashmeres Collection, but it isn’t.  Pepper is much more of a brick red.

Entice Claire comp

Veronica is a medium wine-pink, or a dark raspberry.  I love this color, and the formula seemed extra-smooth.

Entice Veronica

I thought another Zoya called Moxie was close, but it’s lighter, brighter, and rosier.

Entice Veronica comp2

Margo is red plum and is surprisingly similar to Veronica in my opinion, to be in the same set.  Not dupes, by any means, but similar.  Margo is more purple.

Entice Margo

Entice Margo comp

Ryan is a beautiful dark indigo blue.  Name alert!  If you bought the Timo Weiland Limited Edition trio last year, please be aware that the color Timo from that set is the same as Ryan.  Not similar, the same.  Timo was renamed Ryan for the Entice release.

Entice Ryan

I thought Ryan might be close to Sailor, from Zoya’s 2013 Cashmeres set, and it is.  Sailor is a hair lighter in person but in the photo they look almost identical.

Entice Ryan comp

Genevieve is a dark gray with a blue tint.  This would be a good color to wear when you want dark and neutral, but not black.  In person I thought it looked more gray and not nearly as blue as it does in the photo.

Entice Genevieve

My overall impression is that I like the Entice Collection but am not wowed by it, probably because I have so many similar colors already.  There must be only so many ways you can do cremes.

If I didn’t own any similar colors, I’d say my favorites were Claire, Ryan, and pick-one-between-Veronica-and-Margo.

$9 (US) Available on Zoya.com and at finer salons and spas.

Direct link to Entice and Ignite Collections.
*BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

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

The Ignite Collection from Zoya — swatches and comparisons

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

FedEx came through!  Yesterday I posted that the package from Zoya containing my Entice and Ignite Collections had gone astray and been delivered…. somewhere.  Not to my house.  But a phone call got the ball rolling and, by gosh, I think I had several concerned FedEx employees tracking that baby down.  The driver got one number wrong on the address and my package was a mere block away.

I walked down to that house, where I saw my package sitting alone and forlorn on the porch.  The bottles inside were whispering, “Take us home.”  So I did.

Here are some official photos of the set:

Zoya Entice Ignite 5

Zoya Entice Ignite 2

  • ZP754 ­ Autumn: Varnished Copper
  • ZP755 ­ India: Deep Red Gold
  • ZP756 ­ Teigen: Violet Plum with Copper
  • ZP757 ­ Sansa: Deepest Eggplant with Gold
  • ZP758 ­ Remy: Indigo with Copper & Gold
  • ZP759­ Yuna: Grey with Copper & Gold

My bottles in the same order:

Ignite set

The Ignite Collection really grabs me because they’re foils, and as I’ve said ad naseum, that’s my favorite polish finish, since foils usually don’t show brushstrokes yet they are shimmery and even somewhat glittery.  The formula of all six Ignite colors was great, and unless otherwise noted I used two coats of polish, no top coat, and the photos are under indirect outdoor light.

Let’s start with the best named polish EVER, Autumn.  It’s the copper foil I’ve wanted for ages.  I’ve tried other colors that, while beautiful, have been more orange or gold or brown than what I had in mind.

Ignite Autumn

Comparing Autumn to Zoya’s Channing from last year’s fall Satins Collection, Channing is more orange-red.  Comparing Autumn to Revlon’s Fall Mood, Fall Mood is lighter and more gold and silver.

Ignite Autumn comp

Ignite Autumn comp2

Ignite Autumn comp3

Being the fall polish hog that I am, I love all three and feel they each give a distinctive look.

India is indeed a deep red gold, very dark yet the sparkle keeps it from looking blackened.

Ignite India

Comparing India to Zoya’s Blair, they are close in color but Blair is a shimmer and not a foil.  I like both but if I could only pick one it would be India.

Ignite India comp

Teigen has a lighter violet base than India and looks dark raspberry or light red-plum.  Couldn’t think of other polishes close to Teigen’s look to compare.

Ignite Teigen

Sansa is a dark plum or eggplant with gold sparkle.  It was almost but not quite a one-coater.

Ignite Sansa

In the bottles, Sansa looks similar to Zoya’s Daul….

Ignite Sansa comp

… but on the nail, not even close.  Daul is much, much lighter and more sheer.

Ignite Sansa comp2

Remy.  Oh my gosh.  It’s a dark teal that mesmerizes me.  The base is dark blue, and get this — it’s a one-coater!  One coat gives fantastic coverage.

Ignite Remy

Remy begs a comparison to Zoya’s Charla, but Remy is darker and covers much better.  I needed three coats of Charla.

Ignite Remy comp

Yuna is a dark gray and at first, looking at the bottle, I thought it had a greenish tint.  But I think that’s an illusion from the gold sparkle; it’s a true gray.

Ignite Yuna

Comparing Yuna to Zoya’s Claudine and Cassedy, Claudine is similar in color but is a shimmer, not a foil.  It has more of a dark gunmetal vibe to me.  Cassedy is lighter and more silvery than Yuna.

Ignite Yuna comp

Ignite Yuna comp2

Overall, I love this set so much.  Two of my favorite things, fall and foils.  My favorite ones?  That’s tough because I really love them all except Yuna, and that’s only because dark grays don’t look good on my skin tone.  Remy gets an extra gold star for being a one-coater.  If I had to pick three they would be Autumn, India, and Remy, but Teigen and Sansa are no slouches either.

If there are any other comparisons you’d like me to make, just ask!

Tomorrow, barring unnatural disasters, I’ll review and compare the new set of cremes, Entice.

$9 (US) Available on Zoya.com and at finer salons and spas.  Direct link to Entice and Ignite Collections.
*BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

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

While we wait, let’s be Rich in Heart

I was so excited to be receiving my Zoya Entice & Ignite Collections media samples today.   The FedEx site said my box was “out for delivery,” then when I checked again later it said it was delivered, but… it wasn’t.  At least not to my house.

:-(

I don’t know where my package is, but it sure isn’t here.  I’ve searched my front porch several times, and it doesn’t even have any hiding places anyway.  So I’ve called FedEx to put a trace on the box and we’ll see what happens.  Sure hope I don’t have to wait a week for replacements, but if I do, I do.  It’s a real first-world problem, isn’t it?

To keep my fingers polished and my blog occupied while we wait, how about that 99¢ Sinful Colors sale at Walgreens I mentioned yesterday?  You just know I had to drop in.  Didn’t see any new fall collections but one shade called Rich in Heart (#265) was definitely calling my name.

Rich in Heart is a shimmery, vampy, blackened color, great for fall or winter.  The base is sheer black and it’s packed with a shimmer that defies definition.  Dark red?  Plum?  Brown?  Yes to all three.

The formula was good, first coat was a little streaky but the second coat covered very well.  Shiny, too.  Two views under indirect outdoor light and then with the fill flash:

Rich in Heart

Rich in Heart2

Rich in Heart flash

You can see in the bottle, especially in the second photo, how it seems to be several different colors.

I LOVE Rich in Heart, especially heading into fall, and at 99 cents, it rivals polishes that cost ten times as much.  Happy hunting at the Walgreens sale!

**************

EDIT:  Dupe alert.  The only polishes I have — and believe me, I own a ton of reds from pale to dark — that could be considered duplicates for Rich in Heart are two that are unavailable.  Dear John from the February 2013 SquareHue subscription box is long gone, and Caroline from Julep is currently out of stock.  Even if Caroline was in stock, it costs $11-$14 for a tiny bottle of it.  Rich in Heart, like all Sinful Colors, is a full 0.5 oz/15 ml.

Sinful Colors 99¢ sale at Walgreens

The title says it all — the Sunday ad in the paper this morning shows that once again, Walgreens is having one of its great 99¢ sales for Sinful Colors nail polish.

I’ve gone on and on about SC polishes before.  They are, I think, the best quality ultra-budget brand.  Other people think so too.

Some of my favorite SC shades have been Fig, Mercury Rising, Forget Now, Nail Junkie, Hot Wired, and Ciao Bella.  You can use the search function here on The Silver Nail to see swatches if you’re so inclined.  Happy Sunday!

Another short summer break

Yeah, I know — I’ve been AWOL a lot lately.  What can I say; it’s summer, which in Montana often means, “Go!  Run!  Hike!  Swim!  Do stuff outside before it snows again!”

Family is coming to visit today for a long weekend so I’ll be away from my computer.  My Entice and Ignite Collection samples should be arriving on Monday, though, and I hope to swatch them as soon as possible.

Zoya Entice Ignite display

How would you like me to do that?  I can’t swatch all twelve colors plus comparisons in one day, so let me know which colors and comps you reallyreallyreally want to see first and I’ll do my best.

And for those of you who enjoyed the local law enforcement reporting wit the other day, let me leave you with another gem:

A business owner was livid that the boating party he had rented to refused to bring the boat in.  When officers arrived, it was determined to be a false alarm and everyone went on their boating way, merrily down the stream.

Have a wonderful weekend — get out and about if you’re so inclined!

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