Category Archives: blue

The Blue Mind

Recently I was made aware of a human-proposed phenomenon called “The Blue Mind.”  It’s the name of a book by Wallace J. Nichols which I haven’t read yet, but it sounds intriguing.  The lengthy subtitle of the book is “The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.”  Whew, that’s a mouthful!

The Amazon blurb says, “Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In BLUE MIND, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water. Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with compelling personal stories from top athletes, leading scientists, military veterans, and gifted artists, he shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success.”

I’m a skeptical of so many grand claims and would boil it down to something much simpler:  We as humans tend to love being around, next to, looking at, and in water.  It’s often calming and just plain makes us feel better.  Think about it — we take vacations by the seaside, paint our bedrooms blue, add water features to our properties if we aren’t lucky enough to live on a river or lake or pond, and sometimes listen to recordings of ocean waves and babbling brooks to relax and fall asleep.  No one says, “Well, I think this year we’ll spend our week’s vacation next to the train tracks.”

We like looking at water and the sky, at least I do.  While I live in land-locked state now, I have fond childhood memories of Sunday afternoons spent on Carolina beaches, and currently go to lakes and rivers whenever I can — to walk, to sit, just to gaze.  I’ve also always loved lying on my back outdoors and staring at blue sky, finding shapes in the clouds or merely daydreaming.  It never gets old.

We’re currently fixing up an old house (c. 1916) we bought a few months ago, and the wide front porch was in desperate need of some love.  All the elements — walls, trim, floor, posts, ceiling — had been sloppily painted white at some point and were dirty and covered in cobwebs and various stages of insect life.  Once it was all cleaned up and we started painting, the first thing Mr. Silver Nail did was to paint the porch ceiling a lovely shade of sky blue that I chose.  I’ve always wanted a porch with a light blue ceiling!  Where I grew up, old-fashioned porches often had that and it was called “Haint Blue,” the reasoning being that it keeps the ghosts away.  I’m cool with that.  And if it helps keep bugs away that’s great too.

So spend more time near the colors and things you love, whether it’s blue or pink or water or mountains or whatever.  Find your bliss.

And to segue into a blue polish, here’s one from Zoya with an ocean vibe called Marina.  It’s a dusty or smoky blue with silver and blue shimmer, reminiscent of perhaps a storm over the water.  Marina was part of the Fall 2011 collection of shimmers called Mirrors and also contained Yara, Jem, Neeka, Tao, and Nimue, all of which are still available.

The formula of Marina was somewhat sheer so I was pleasantly surprised that two coats covered well.  Under indirect bright outdoor light with no top coat:

Marina

What a lovely color for fall or winter.  It’s more gray than Zoya’s blue Skylar which I swatched years ago.

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.

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 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.

The SquareHue August box — Beverly Hills

Note:  Two of the comparison polishes were supplied by SquareHue.  I purchased the rest.

I haven’t talked about the monthly polish subscription SquareHue in ages.  Six months, to be exact, when I reviewed the February box with its bright, beautiful Tokyo theme.

I received the March box, Paris, but didn’t review them because I gave them away or frankened them into something else.  Then I suspended my subscription, and one thing I like about SquareHue is that you can do so easily, at any time and with no penalty.  The preview pictures I saw from April through July didn’t grab me enough to re-up; there was usually a yellow or yellow-green or orange, my least favorite polish colors, or I saw colors I felt I already had.

If you’d like to see the polishes from the last few months, peek at SquareHue’s “Look Book”:

There are some very pretty shades in every set yet I was OK with skipping.  But the August preview picture, Beverly Hills, looked like cool shades of silver & blue & purple.  Yeah, I have enough of those too but wanted the set anyway.  Were my guesses right?

SqH BevHills

Close!

SqH Aug14 box

SqH Aug14 bottles

Left to right:

  • Rodeo Drive — silver/gold/taupe microglitter
  • Cannon Drive — purple microshimmer
  • Wilshire Boulevard — bright medium-dark blue microshimmer

SqH Aug14 names

Note Cannon spelling on the card versus Cañon spelling on the bottle.  No big deal.

I LOVE these colors!  Come to Mama.

Rodeo Drive is what I would call a foil.  It’s a silver-gold-taupe color that I think is wearable any time of year but really grabs me as we move towards fall.  This polish, as well as the other two, had an excellent formula and two coats gave great coverage.

SqH Aug14 RD

Cañon Drive is a grape-purple microshimmer that’s almost a frost or chrome.  Brushstrokes were a wee bit visible but not bad.

SqH Aug14 CD

Wilshire Boulevard is a great blue shimmer.  Yeah, I have a boatload of polishes that are a similar shade but I love this color so much.  So vibrant.

SqH Aug14 WB

I pulled out some older SquareHues that I thought would be good to compare, and only Rodeo Drive had a near dupe.  But it’s more of a taupe than Champagne Toast in the inaugural box from December 2012, and not as yellow-gold as Honor from July 2013.  I have no close ones within the brand for Cañon Drive or Wilshire Boulevard.

SqH Aug14 comps

 

SqH Aug14 comps3

SqH Aug14 comps2

I no longer own Ginza from February — liked it a lot but gave it to someone who liked it even more — but here’s a swatch.  It was much lighter than Wilshire Boulevard.

Ginza

I’m REALLY glad I got the August box.  If you’re interested in these polishes but aren’t a subscriber, I’ve read that some people have had luck contacting SquareHue and asking to buy them outright.  Also, they are running a special at their web site in which new subscribers will get a free box from past collections added to their first month.

I’m planning on getting the September box too.  The theme is Sydney, Australia, and I see fall colors in the preview picture:

SqH Sydney

I’m digging the copper shade.  Hope the yellow, if there is one, is a fun finish — I’m always up for a holo!

Note:  Two of the comparison polishes were supplied by SquareHue.  I purchased the rest.

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

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!

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