Category Archives: blue

Be a Nail Junkie on a budget

Being a polish collector doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, as I’ve talked about many times before.  Since my move a month ago, I’m finding some polishes in my stash that I forgot I had, ones I’ve never swatched.  Think I’ll be a …. Nail Junkie!

Nail Junkie is an older polish from Sinful Colors that I believe is still available.  Sinful Colors is a brand that usually costs $1.99 for a full-size bottle but it’s often on sale for half-price at Walgreens, making it super-affordable.  And it’s not junk polish, either — some of my favorites are SCs.  See here and here, for example.

Nail Junkie is a glitter that looks dark in the bottle but much lighter on the nail.  It’s a mix of multicolored medium-to-tiny sized glitter in a sheer teal base, and it’d be hard to build up opacity on its own, so I like it as a top coat over other polishes.

Here it is by itself, three coats on my little finger, one coat over a dark blue shimmer on my ring finger, and one coat over a black on my middle (left-most) finger, under indirect outdoor light.  The photo is confusing because Nail Junkie in the bottle seems like it would look like the polish on the far left, but it doesn’t; to get that look you’d have to use it over black.

Nail Junkie

I love Nail Junkie — it gives a pretty underwater look — but don’t care for it on its own.  I like it over both the dark blue and the black.  I showed my nails to Mr. Silver Nail for the old guy adult male opinion and he liked it over the two dark colors too.  Said that by itself it looked like something more for a kid.  What do you think?  I think I need to get some more Sinful Colors pretty soon!



The Ice Duo from Butter London

Did you pounce on the Butter London sale last week?  I did, finally.  Got the mini-set of five pink polishes I’ve wanted since Christmas, plus picked up the Double Take Ice Duo for $12.

The Ice Duo contains full-sized bottles (0.4 oz/11 ml) of Bluecoat, a dark blue shimmer, and Leccy (slang for electricity), a clear topcoat with irregular shards of blue and copper.  Butter London calls Leccy “opal,” and that’s a good description.


Ice Duo

I previously reviewed the Fire Duo here.  I loved the dark red shimmer called Rebel Fox but wasn’t wowed by the top  coat Brass Monkey.

Bluecoat applied very well and I needed fewer coats than I did of Rebel Fox.  Two coats of Bluecoat were enough for good coverage.  It’s a pretty navy blue and the shimmer shows up more in direct sunlight.  Under indirect outdoor light and then in direct sunshine:


Bluecoat sun

Sorry for the poor condition of my nails and cuticles, been opening a lot of cardboard moving boxes lately and unpacking.  At any rate, I think Bluecoat is beautiful but do I have a dupe?  I think so.  Actually I think I have several <sob>.  Look at my review of Butter London’s own Big Smoke here, along with some other blue polishes, and see what you think.  Overkill in my polish stash.

But moving on to Leccy, I think this is a great top coat.  Like Brass Monkey, the flakes/shards are sparse, so you might want to dab them on or use several coats.  Here are two coats of Leccy over Bluecoat, again under indirect and then direct sunlight:

Bluecoat with Leccy

Bluecoat with Leccy sun

If you want either Bluecoat or Leccy, they’re only sold as a set, not separately.  While I’m glad I got them, I don’t think I would have bought the duo had I realized how close Bluecoat was to other blues I have.  Still, love that Leccy!

Layering with Bubbly

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

After my review of Zoya’s new Bubbly Collection, and all the comparisons I did a few days ago, I got to wondering about how some of the polishes in this set would look layered with each other since they’re sheer.  Let’s experiment.

As I mentioned, I was disappointed that Binx was not more purple.  It’s a darker pink than Harper but not what I’d call purple.  So I swatched two coats of Binx over two coats of the blue holo glitter, Muse.  Shown with the bottle of Alma for contrast:

Binx and Muse

Now that, I’d call purple!  I could have been more neat in my application around the edges, but you get the idea.  Binx and Muse alone are three coats each.

How about the green Stassi with Muse?  Here’s one coat of Stassi over two coats of Muse, also shown with the bottle of Alma for contrast:

Stassi and Muse

I’m sure none of you will be surprised to see that layering a green over a blue gives you a blue-green.  I think it’s a beautiful “sparkling ocean” look.

You could layer any of the colors together, although green plus orange or blue plus orange might look muddy and indeterminate.  I’m also not sure layering the peach-gold Alma with the orange Jesy would make a huge difference.  But remember my byword for 2014:  PLAY!!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.


Zoya comparison-fest, again

Disclosure:  Many but not all of these polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

I love doing comparisons of new Zoya polishes to some of their older shades.  It  helps everybody — me, you, Zoya.  We all win!  I know most of us don’t have the money to buy every single polish that catches our eye; I certainly don’t and there’s nothing wrong with saying so.

You can see my full reviews of the two latest Summer 2014 sets, Bubbly and Tickled,  here and here, if you haven’t already.  The colors I pulled for comps are from reader suggestions and my own curiosity.

I’ll have half my comps today and hopefully the other half tomorrow.  I don’t mean that as a tease, honest.  After a few rounds of swatches and polish remover, my skin starts to get dry and red, no matter how much lotion and cuticle cream I use.

So let’s go!  First is the sparkly Harper with Happi and Lux.

Zoya comps HHL bottles

Zoya comps HHL swatches

Lux, obviously, is not close in color.  I only included it because it has some holo glitter and is vaguely pink.  I think the new MagicalPixie (not released yet) called Ginni will be closer to Harper.  Happi is a similar pink to Harper but is a totally different finish, a duochrome.  I’ve been a huge fan of Happi for years, but Harper makes Happi look almost matronly here.  I can’t believe I’m saying that!!  I’m loving Harper more and more.

Next, some light pink cremes, Kitridge with Shelby and Sweet.

Zoya comps KSS bottles

Zoya comps KSS swatches

In the bottle they all look fairly close, but on the nail you can see that Kitridge is more neutral while Shelby and Sweet have a lavender tint.  All three are good.  Shelby and Sweet are near dupes for each other.

PINK.  MOAR PINK.  Here are Binx and Bobbi.

Zoya comps BB bottles

Zoya comps BB swatches

Sorry about the poor focus in the swatch photo.  As I said in my review of the Bubbly Collection, I expected Binx to be purple because of its preview pictures.  But it’s a dark pink with a purplish tone.  Bobbi is a bright magenta pink foil from last year’s Irresistible Collection.  Binx and Bobbi are similar in color but have different finishes, holo glitter vs. silvery foil.

Moving on to coral-pink cremes, Wendy next to Micky.

Zoya comps WM bottles

Zoya comps WM swatches

This is an interesting pair.  Hopefully you can tell that Wendy is lighter and more coral while Micky is darker and more pink.  I personally prefer Micky on my skin tone.

Now let’s get blue.

Zoya comps CMHD bottles

Zoya comps CMHD swatches

No dupes here although Charla and Muse are close.  But Charla is more teal and does not have holo glitter.  Hazel is a heavy silver-blue foil, and Dream is a much darker blue with tiny silver flakes.  Am I a polish pig to say I love all four?

Zoya comps BLRR bottles

Zoya comps BLRR swatches

Here’s an intriguing group, because while there are no exact dupes, Breezi and Ling are similar to each other, as are Robyn and Rocky.  Breezi is a bit more gray than Ling, and Ling is brighter.  Rocky is a tad more gray than Robyn.

Tomorrow:  the golds/peaches, oranges, darker pink cremes, and greens.

Disclosure:  Many but not all of these polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

The Tickled Collection from Zoya — full review!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

Hope you enjoyed my review of the new Bubbly Collection as much as I enjoyed doing it!  Today, let’s get Tickled.

Tickled is Zoya’s other new six-polish set for summer 2014.  All of these are cremes, although I see a faint silver shimmer to Rocha in the bottle.

Zoya Tickled preview

Zoya Tickled and Bubbly3

Zoya Tickled bottles

Left to right:

  • Rocha
  • Wendy
  • Kitridge
  • Rooney
  • Ling
  • Tilda

As you can see, they generally correspond in color to the glitters of the Bubbly Collection, but not exactly.  Rocha and Wendy aren’t yellow-oranges like Alma and Jesy are.

The formula of all six was great, very smooth, and every single one covered well with two coats.  Without a top coat under indirect bright sunshine:

Rocha is a warm red-orange.  Zoya calls it a “folly red,” a term I’ve never heard and for which I can’t find a definition.  Whatever, it’s bright!  And it’s more orange than red to me.  It’s pretty but I feel that it makes my skin look grayish, and that it would look much better on someone with a warm skin tone.  Would make a great pedicure color.  Hopefully you can see the silver shimmer in the bottle, but it doesn’t translate to the nail.

Zoya Tickled Rocha

Wendy is like Rocha toned way, way down, a warm melon-like pink-orange.  Nice, but doesn’t thrill me.

Zoya Tickled Wendy

Kitridge is a classic bubblegum pink, cool to neutral.  I love pinks like this and probably own waaaaay too many.  Yet it’s a more neutral pink than some of Zoya’s other similar shades, which sometimes lean lavender.  Kitridge was just a tad streaky.

Zoya Tickled Kitridge

Rooney is a medium magenta pink, almost purplish enough to call orchid, also cool to neutral.  Love this one!

Zoya Tickled Rooney

Ling is also cool to neutral, a medium blue that’s somehow both bright and has a slight gray tone.  Not sky blue, not navy; Zoya calls it royal blue but I think of royal blue as darker and more intense.  Semantics.

Zoya Tickled Ling

Tilda is a warm pistachio green, a little darker than lime.  Zoya uses the description “mantis green,” but I’d always rather use food allusions than insect ones!  I’m not a fan of this color on me but know many people are excited about Tilda, which is wonderful.

Zoya Tickled Tilda

My impressions:  Overall a very nice, summery set of cremes.  If that sounds like faint praise, well, it takes something really special from a creme polish to wow me these days.  If you don’t already own a tsunami of creme polishes like moi, then you can find some really good summer shades in the Tickled Collection.  My favorite, and the one I think I’d wear the most, is Rooney, and I like Ling a lot too.  The warmer tones of Rocha, Wendy, and Tilda don’t flatter my skin, but your mileage may vary.  One excellent attribute of this set is that all six colors covered well in just two coats.

Maybe you’re all about cremes and don’t like glitters.  If so, Tickled is right up your alley.  :-D

Zoya Tickled six swatches

I hope to post lots of comparisons this weekend — Bubbly and Tickled shades to older Zoya colors.  Any you particularly want to see?  I don’t have every Zoya, but if I have it I’ll compare it.

Zoya polishes are 5-Free — free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  The Tickled polishes are $9 each at .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

The Bubbly Collection from Zoya — full review!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

Happy May Day!  Hope you’re all dancing around the Maypole and leaving baskets of flowers on neighbors’ doors.  If not, perhaps you’d like to spend a few minutes with me drooling over the new summer collection, Bubbly, from Zoya.

Zoya Tickled and Bubbly4

Zoya Bubbly six

All have multicolored holographic glitter plus subtle gold shimmer and are so eye-catching.  Want to hear a shocker?  Even Mr. Silver Nail noticed them and commented about how summery they look!  Usually he’s totally oblivious to my polish stash, which is probably a good thing.  So let’s break out the Bubbly.

Zoya Bubbly bottles

Left to right:

  • Alma
  • Jesy
  • Harper
  • Binx
  • Stassi
  • Muse

All six have a comfortably thick jelly-like consistency and are somewhat sheer, but the glitter is so thick that the opacity builds up quickly.  You could wear these on their own or as a one-coat “wow” top coat over another color.  I’ll show each polish with no top coat, under indirect bright sunshine.

Alma is a warm golden peach.  It’s sunshine in a bottle that looks more peach at some angles and more golden at others.  I used three coats although two were almost enough, surprising since Alma is so light.

Zoya Bubbly Alma

Jesy is a tangerine orange yet looks pinkish-coral at some angles.  I wouldn’t call it a duochrome per se but it is a complex color.  I needed four coats for full coverage.

Zoya Bubbly Jesy

Harper — whose name makes me think of Harper Lee, author of one of the greatest American novels ever, To Kill a Mockingbird — is a bright, girly, cotton candy pink.  I love pink polish with an extra kick.  The glitter seemed less dense in Harper than in the other five colors.  Three coats.

Zoya Bubbly Harper

Binx is an orchid shade.  I was disappointed that it’s MUCH less purple and more pink than what I expected from the preview photos.  I almost wonder if I got an “off” bottle.  Hmm, I still like it but would call the actual swatch a dark pink and not purple. Perhaps if I wore it over a base coat of a royal purple I’d like it more.  To be very clear, this is three coats of Binx over my bare nails, not a coat of Binx over Harper or anything else.

Zoya Bubbly Binx

Stassi is impressive.  I want to call it a leprechaun color — green with dazzling sparkle and pot o’ gold shimmer.  The royal blue I see in the glitter keeps Stassi from looking too yellowish.  Three coats.

Zoya Bubbly Stassi

Muse is a stunner too; Zoya calls it “mermaid blue” in the preview picture.  It reminds me most of those blue raspberry rock-candies-on-a-stick, so sparkly.  Three coats and gorgeous!

Zoya Bubbly Muse

My impressions:  All six Bubbly shades are pretty, sparkly, and summery.  My two favorites surprised me — Stassi and Muse!  I like Harper a lot but was disappointed that Binx was so similar to Harper.  I wanted real purple from Binx.  Alma and Jesy look similar in the bottles but not in actual swatches and I like them.  Still, I don’t wear a lot of gold or peach or orange because of my skin tone.

Zoya Bubbly six swatches

Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, I’ll have the new Tickled Collection, six cremes, up for review and will have comparisons to other Zoya shades this weekend.  I happily take requests for comparisons!

Zoya polishes are 5-Free — free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  The Bubbly polishes are $9 each at .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

Proud as a peacock

… to show you a peacock blue polish.  It’s one of the shades I picked up at a Black Friday sale last fall from Julep.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a Julep “Maven,” aka a member of their subscription program.  I’ve gotten soured on sub programs from other companies in general lately because I’ve seen or received too many colors I don’t like or want.  I think it works better for me — and avoids the dreaded buyer’s remorse — if I buy the colors I want individually.  But ever the thrifty one, I wait for screaming deals.

Marion is a peacock blue shimmer, some might call it teal, but it leans more blue to me.  The shimmer is a pretty silver and blue.  The application was very good and it was a one-coater for me.  Gotta emphasize that:  ONE COAT.  I love one-coaters and rarely find them.

Here’s Marion under indirect outdoor light, one coat, no top coat:


I love this one!  I’ve read a few reviews that said Marion stains (always something to beware of with blue polish) but I used a good base coat and didn’t have a problem.  Zoya’s Anchor Base Coat is my fave.  This shade of blue is one I’d wear any time of year — spring, summer, fall, and winter.  That’s another polish feature I rarely encounter!

Marion is currently $6.99 at Julep’s site, which is half of their regular $14 price.  I think $14 for what I consider a mini (0.27 oz/8 ml) is ridiculous, but if you love the color I think $6.99 is OK considering it’s a one-coater.  If Marion’s not your style, Julep has a lot of other colors on sale on their “Savvy Deals” page.  Shop carefully because prices range from $2.99 to $6.99.

Snowbound with The Silver Nail

Disclosure: Cole and Rebel were supplied by Zoya for review.

When I was a little girl in a part of North Carolina that almost never saw even a dusting of snow, one of my favorite books was Snowbound with Betsy, by Carolyn Haywood and first published in 1962.  I loved all the books in the Betsy series (B is for Betsy, Betsy and Billy, etc.) but just could NOT imagine what it would be like to be snowbound.  In fact, when I’d see photos of parts of the U.S. or the world that had deep snow, I thought that it wasn’t real, that someone was making it all up.

Then when I was older and read the Little House on the Prairie books, I remember an incident where Laura described a blizzard so severe that Pa had to tie a rope around his waist to go from the house to the barn, so he wouldn’t get lost in the snowstorm and wander off to freeze to death.  Again, I thought, “How can that be??”

Well, having lived in Montana for decades, I now know firsthand that deep snow and blizzards with zero visibility are indeed real.  We’re having a blizzard today, and while the wind is whipping the snow into deep drifts, the visibility isn’t terrible.  Still, I’m staying in.  Why go out in this if you don’t have to?

And thanks to a couple of excellent suggestions from readers, I have two more comparisons for you.  Yesterday I showed several of the new Awaken Collection colors compared to others from Zoya.  Here are two more pairs:  Jo (2009 Twist Collection) and Rebel (Awaken), plus Arizona (2012 Beach Collection) and Cole (Awaken).

Aw. jorebelarizonacole

Jo is a periwinkle blue shimmer that, if I had to name a “Top 10 from Zoya” list, would be near the top.  I never get tired of it.  It’s a tribute to its popularity that it’s still being sold, five years after its release.  As you can see, Jo and Rebel are alike only in that they are both blue.  Jo has a lavender tone and very fine silver and blue shimmer; Rebel is more of a robin’s egg blue with heavier flakes.  Here they are under indirect snowy light, no flash, with each bottle:

Aw. Rebel Jo

Aw. Rebel Jo2

I rarely say something so insistent, but if you’re a fan of blue polish, you reallyreallyreally might want to consider having both.  Rebel seems to have a teal look when compared to Jo, but compared to the true teal of Zuza, I would call it just blue.

Aw. Dillon Zuza Rebel

Cole and Arizona are both cremes with no shimmer at all.  Cole is a warm light peach and Arizona is bright orange.  With the bottle of Cole:

Aw. Cole Arizona

Both have an excellent formula but I don’t wear much peach or orange, personally.  Love seeing it on others, though.  By the way, a long time ago I compared Arizona and Jancyn and found them to be almost complete dupes.

Welp, stay warm, stay dry, and don’t get lost in a blizzard!

Disclosure: Cole and Rebel were supplied by Zoya for review.

Let’s compare — spring foils from Zoya

Disclosure: All of these polishes except Zuza were supplied by Zoya for review.

I really enjoyed swatching Zoya’s new Awaken Collection yesterday. As planned, here are some comparisons to a few older Zoya colors.

Brooklyn from Awaken and Piaf from the Lovely Collection (spring 2013) with camera flash:

Aw. Brooklyn w Piaf bottles

Brooklyn is slightly more gold and Piaf is more yellow in this light.  Also, Brooklyn is a shimmer and Piaf is a foil.  But under indirect outdoor light the colors look much more similar, and Brooklyn actually looks lighter.  Odd but true.  With the bottle of Brooklyn:

Aw. Brooklyn w Piaf

Since Brooklyn tends to show brushstrokes I’d have to say the advantage goes to Piaf.

Dillon (Awaken), Zuza (Surf Collection, summer 2012), and Rebel (Awaken), under the camera flash:

Aw. Dillon Zuza Rebel

You can see here that the blue Rebel isn’t like Zuza at all.  But Dillon and Zuza are similar, with Dillon being lighter and less teal.  Under indirect outdoor light, no flash, with the bottle of Dillon:

Aw. Dillon w Zuza

Love, love, love both.  Zuza is one of my all-time favorites from Zoya and I think Dillon is going to be one too.

Hudson from Awaken and Julie from Lovely, flash:

Aw. Hudson Julie bottles

And on the nail, indirect light, with the bottle of Hudson:

Aw. Hudson Julie

These two are in my mind very similar in formula, shimmer, and overall color, with the big difference being tint or shade.  Hudson is a dark lavender and Julie is a very light one.  I like both.  Oh, I guess another big difference is that Julie is not available at Zoya’s web site any more.  Perhaps it wasn’t terribly popular.

If you’re deciding on some colors, I hope these comparisons helped.  Any others you want me to compare to the new Awaken colors?  Just ask.  :-)

Disclosure: All of these polishes except Zuza were supplied by Zoya for review.

The Awaken Collection from Zoya — it’s here!!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.


Just tackled the poor FedEx delivery driver.  I’ve been watching online as my spring Awaken Collection with Monet topper from Zoya made its way across the U.S. and finally it’s here.  Most of the individual colors have been shipping for some time, but one color, Hudson, was delayed and therefore held up the 6-piece samplers.  But like when your teenage child comes driving up at midnight, you’re just glad they’re home.  You might grumble a bit but all is forgiven.


Left to right:

  • Dillon
  • Rebel
  • Hudson
  • Dot
  • Cole
  • Brooklyn

plus Monet (not included in the Awaken Collection; available separately)


Dillon, Rebel,  and Hudson are foils, Dot and Cole are cremes, and Brooklyn is a shimmer.  Monet is a multicolored “cellophane” topper — holo hex glitter in a sheer pink base.  Let’s get to ‘em!

All six Awaken polishes had an excellent formula and I used three coats of each.  Keep in mind not to overwork the foils for a nice, smooth look.  Photos are under indirect bright snowy outdoor light.

Dillon is a gorgeous light mint green foil.  I don’t know what it is, but most mint greens make my skin look red.  Not Dillon!
Awaken Dillon
Rebel is a robin’s egg blue with perhaps a hint of teal.  Lots of silver-gold sparkle.
Awaken Rebel
Hudson is an Easter egg lavender with a lot of sparkle, too.
Awaken Hudson
Dot is a milky pale baby pink previously released in a limited edition Zang Toi trio where it was called Ballet Babe.  The first coat was sheer but by the third coat it gave good coverage and self-leveled very well.  A classic petal pink.
Awaken Dot
Cole is a warm peach creme with a fun creamsicle look.  It was called Stella in an earlier LE Peter Som trio.  Pretty, but peach/orange is one of the hardest colors for me to wear personally, because of my skin tone.  I think it’d look better on lighter or darker or warmer skin.  In other words, just about everyone else!
Awaken Cole
Brooklyn is a pale gold shimmer, almost a white gold.  Classy, but it showed brushstrokes the most.  Wish it had been a foil finish too.
Awaken Brooklyn

Monet has a thick formula and I had to fish for the glitter a little, plus it tended to bunch up at the ends of my nails.  It looks more noticeable and prettier over some colors than over others.  Here it is, one coat plus a few extra dabs, over each Awaken polish.

Awaken Dillon M

Awaken Rebel M

Awaken Hudson M

Awaken Dot M

Awaken Cole M

Awaken Brooklyn M

I love the Awaken Collection.  It’s got all my favorite spring colors — mint green, cool blue, cheery lavender, petal pink. Overall I think Awaken is Zoya’s best spring or summer collection since the foil goodness of Surf two years ago.  My favorites?  Ooh, that’s tough, truly.  I couldn’t pick just one; I’d have to have at least Dillon, Rebel, and Hudson, plus I like all the others, too.

Tomorrow, when I’m not so pressed for time, I plan to compare these new colors to some of Zoya’s older ones.

Zoya polishes are 5-Free — free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  The Awaken polishes are $9 each and the Monet topper is $10 at .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.


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