Tag Archives: creme

Transition from summer to fall with NEW Zoyas!

Hot off the press (release)!!

Introducing Zoya’s Naturel Deux Collection:

Zoya Naturel Deux

Inspired by the desire to expand the popular neutral palette of the Zoya NATUREL collection, six (6) NEW, full-coverage creams in deeper hues were born.

Perfect as every day go-to colors, the Zoya NATUREL DEUX (2) collection bridges the transitional gap between late summer/early fall 2014 with three, rich brown family shades and three plum based beauties. All in the long-wearing, BIG5FREE formula Zoya is known for!

  • ZP742 – Spencer: Camel
  • ZP743 – Chanelle: Toasted Almond
  • ZP744 – Emilia: Dark Chocolate
  • ZP745 – Marnie: Deep Warm Plum
  • ZP746 – Aubrey: Medium Mauve
  • ZP747 – Madeline: Muted Rose

More photos?  Why of course!

Zoya Naturel Deux spills2

Zoya Naturel Deux spills

Zoya Naturel Deux spills3

I love the idea of a collection to take us from late summer into fall, just as I loved Zoya’s first Naturel Collection, which was a neutral bridge from winter into spring.  The rosy/plum tones and the chocolate brown are especially appealing.  Of course, you could slap the description “chocolate” on a chewed-up old shoe and I’d probably buy it.  Chocolate…. om nom nom.

Wonder if Spencer, the camel cream, will be similar to last year’s Flynn, and if chocolate Emilia will look like Louise?  You can see my review and swatches of those cremes here.  Loved both.

STARTS JULY 21, 2014

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


*BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

A passel of positively posh pinks

I know I haven’t swatched anything in a while.  So today, how about FIVE nail polishes?

Last month I posted about one of Butter London’s great “Last Orders” sales, and one of the items I ordered was the set of five minis called the Boxing Day Fash Pack Pinks.  Each one is 0.2 oz/6 ml, which is enough for several manis each and a great way to try new colors.

BL Fash Pack pinks

Left to right:

  • Teddy Girl — pale petal pink creme
  • Fruit Machine — bubblegum creme
  • Fairy Lights — silvery pink chrome
  • Primrose Hill Picnic — bright hot pink creme
  • Queen Vic — dark plum creme

I used two coats of each and all five applied very well; I thought Primrose Hill Picnic had the best formula and most even coverage.  Teddy Girl and Fruit Machine, being lighter, could have used one more coat.  Fairy Lights was very good for a chrome, but as always with this kind of finish, don’t keep poking at it or the brushstrokes will show more prominently.

I’m still getting used to the windows and quality of natural light here in our new house, and these aren’t the greatest photos but here goes.  The first four polishes, left to right, in the same order, under two different aspects of indirect outdoor light:

BL Fash Pack pinks

BL Fash Pack pinks2

Queen Vic, being a plum or raspberry, deserved her own manicure.  I love the look but prefer my nails to be shorter when I wear dark colors.

Queen Vic

I feel I have dupes from Zoya for most of these colors except the chrome of Fairy Lights; however, it’s similar to Maria from Julep.

The Boxing Day Fash Pack Pinks is no longer visible on Butter London’s site but it may show up again in a future sale, or you may also find it lurking in a department store, eBay, etc.



All Aboard with China Glaze!

I’ve been craving news of China Glaze’s fall collection, the big set, not the movie tie-in with “The Giver.”  Last year their Autumn Nights looked beautiful, and I bought three foils in the set and really liked them.

Now let’s hit the tracks and go to the train station with a twelve-polish collection called All Aboard.

China Glaze All Aboard display

Kind of hard to see the bottles and colors in that fuzzy picture.  Online retailer Nails Ave. has better pictures of the colors on their preorder page.  Here’s a slightly condensed version (click on the picture for a slightly bigger view):

China Glaze All Aboard spills

Names and unofficial descriptions:

  • Stop That Train — rust red shimmer
  • Loco-Motive — gunmetal and red glitter
  • One Track Mind — navy blue creme
  • Well Trained — dark turquoise creme
  • Mind the Gap — olive shimmer
  • What Are You A-Freight Of — dark brown creme
  • Lug Your Designer Baggage — brown creme with gold flecks
  • Conduct Yourself — oxblood creme
  • Nice Caboose — raspberry glitter  [hmmm, doesn't look like a glitter to me...]
  • All Aboard — purple creme
  • Choo-Choo Choose You — purple/gray smoky shimmer
  • Don’t Get Derailed — gray creme

It’s too hard to tell from the currently available pictures if I’ll want any of these or not, but it’s interesting to see what the general colors are.  Oxblood (very dark red) is usually popular for fall.  Choo-Choo Choose You has an intriguing description.  And sometimes what China Glaze calls a shimmer, I call a foil, so let’s wait and see.

Release date unknown at this time.


Get Smoky with Orly this fall

Wow, I have so much news to tell you this week, news of at least three upcoming collections for this fall and even the holidays. Yes, I know we’re at the height of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, but fall is my favorite season and I always look forward to the cool, crisp days and nights. I look forward to not drowning in my own sweat, that kind of thing.

If you’re not remotely in the mood for fall news, that’s understandable. Maybe bookmark this post and come back later. As for me, I like to look at new sets and plan how to spend my polish pennies.

Without further ado, let’s meet Smoky from Orly, a six-polish set.
Orly Smoky display

A nice mix of fall shades, wouldn’t you say?  There are two cremes, three shimmers, and one matte shimmer.

Highlight, a gray creme:

Orly Smoky Highlight

Edgy, a warm olive green shimmer:

Orly Smoky Edgy

Darkest Shadow, a very dark red shimmer:

Orly Smoky Darkest Shadow

Brush It On, a bright orange shimmer:

Orly Smoky Brush It On

Blend, a purple creme:

Orly Smoky Blend

Smoked Out, a dark blue matte shimmer:

Orly Smoky Smoked Out

Here are “spills” or swatches, where some of the colors look a bit different than the bottles.

Orly Smoky spills

I’m not wild about the cement-colored Highlight but the shimmers have me oohing and aahing.  At first Edgy reminded me of Agro from China Glaze back in 2012, but Edgy is darker and I think I’d like it better.  I liked Agro but it gave me lobster hands.

Agro outd light

Release date for Smoky is uncertain at this time, but most fall collections come out in August or early September.  Also, there will be a mini-set of four of the Smoky colors — Edgy, Highlight, Brush It On, and Darkest Shadow.

Introducing Brick Lane from Butter London

More fall news?  Get out!  But yep, Butter London has announced a new collection and it’s called Brick Lane.

BL Brick Lane

The ad says it’s limited edition so I don’t know if this is their Fall 2014 Collection per se or is in addition to another fall set down the road.  Whatever, don’t those colors say autumn?  I love dark reds and greens and plums when fall rolls around.

If you go to BL’s Brick Lane page, it’s a bit confusing however.  There are six full-size lacquers listed but two of them, British Racing Green and Ladybird, are NOT new; they are old shades.  I happen to love British Racing Green and reviewed it in 2012.

The four other polishes which as far as I know are brand-new are Dubs:

BL Brick Lane Dubs

Cor Blimey:

BL Brick Lane Cor Blimey


BL Brick Lane Bric-a-Brac

and the titular Brick Lane:

BL Brick Lane Brick Lane

Extreme Polish Greed is setting in because, heaven help my credit card, I think I want them all. But wait!  Take a look at the packaged set of six mini-bottles, which doesn’t have British Racing Green and Ladybird, but instead has two exclusive new shades:

BL Brick Lane box

East End is a matte-satin curry yellow and Chocka is deep plum creme-shimmer.

Shoot, I don’t even wear yellow polish but I want this set; how bad is that?


Gweneth from Zoya

If it seems like I haven’t swatched any polish in ages, you’re right.  I haven’t.  Between selling a house, living in a hotel for ten days, buying a house, moving, unpacking… you get the idea… swatching has not been a realistic endeavor lately.

But today I’m itching to be swatching, and pulled out an older Zoya color from my stash named Gweneth.  It’s a bright berry red creme that looks dark pink in some lights, so if you want a pinkish-red or a reddish-pink, Gweneth could be the one.  Zoya describes it as a “Saturated medium crimson berry with strong pink undertones.”

The formula was great and I used two coats with no top coat since it’s quite glossy without one.  Under indirect outdoor light and then in direct sunlight:


Gweneth sun

I think this would look great on any skin tone, very light to very dark.

In case this inspires you to buy Gweneth, or even if it doesn’t, Zoya is having a new promo in which you can get any three full-sized polishes for just $12 shipping & handling.

Zoya Threedom sale

Please read ALL the details and fine print at Zoya’s blog here.  What works out to be $4 a bottle is a fantastic price for Zoyas, which are normally $9-$10 each.


I need minions

Putting you all on notice that the next month is going to be ka-razy for me and that my blog postings may suffer.  Things are fine, but we’re moving, so between packing, paperwork, stress, actually moving, unpacking, and more stress, I can’t promise I’ll be posting every day or my usual five days a week.  Plus I’m going to have to cut my nails real short or risk having them all break off.

If I was really on the ball, I’d pre-plan dozens of swatch posts and schedule them for automatic posting.  But I’m not.  And I’ve decided that what I really need are minions.  An army of servants.  Lackeys.  Toadies.  They could do all the packing and unpacking for me, like magic.

I love the minions from the movie “Despicable Me” and its sequel.  They’re bright yellow cylindrical creatures that naturally have either one eye or two.  (If you only have one eye, do goggles become a goggle??)  How they keep the straps on their overalls up, since they have no shoulders, I’ll never know.


They’re tireless workers and have a language all their own.  Literally.  The “Despicable Me” minions’ language is a real language in that it has structure and all the words really do mean something.

Since I can’t have minions, how about a minion-colored polish?  Here’s an oldie but goodie from Misa called Happy Happy.  Kind of ironic, since many of the original songs in the DM movies are by Pharrell Williams, currently wildly famous for the song “Happy.”

Happy Happy is a straight-up sunshine yellow creme.  The first coat was streaky but a second and third gave very nice coverage.  The color doesn’t really do my skin tone any favors, but it’s so… so… what’s the word I’m looking for?  Oh yeah:  HAPPY.

Happy Happy

This shade is an older one but is still available at Head2Toe Beauty and is only $3.00 there, not counting shipping.  I love the Misa colors I’ve tried so far and love the sturdy, square, full-sized 0.5 oz/15 ml bottles.

Zoya comparison-fest, encore

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

More comparisons today!  Here’s the second part of my comparapalooza using Zoya’s new Tickled and Bubbly Collections and some of the company’s older colors.

First, per a reader request (thanks!) here is the new Kitridge next to Dot, just in the bottles, no swatches.  They’re very different and Dot is a pale neutral petal pink compared to Kitridge’s medium and slightly warm pink.

Zoya comps2 KD bottles

As long as we’re thinking pink…

Zoya comps2 RLR bottles

Zoya comps2 RLR swatches

Rooney, Lara, and Reagan are all, I think, part of the same color family, just different degrees of light to dark.  No dupes, although Rooney is much closer to Lara than it is to Reagan.  All three together would make a fun ombré manicure.

Zoya comps2 RM bottles

Zoya comps2 RM swatches

Looking at the dark orange-red of the Tickled set, Rocha, it’s more orange and slightly lighter than the older shade Maura.  I actually saw more of a difference than what shows up in my photos.  Personally I like Maura because it’s darker and redder.

Now the rest of the glitters.

Zoya comps2 GKAT bottles

Zoya comps2 GKAT swatches

Hmmm, kind of a motley crew, not to be confused with Mötley Crüe.  The new Alma is a peachy gold, more yellow than Tanzy yet more peach than Goldie or Kerry.  On my skin tone I think Kerry is so bright as to be almost garish, and Goldie — a color I’ve never been crazy about — shows brushstrokes more than the other three.  Of these four I think I like the color of Tanzy yet love the holo glitter in Alma.

Zoya comps2 TJRA bottles

Zoya comps2 TJRA swatches

No dupes here.  Jesy was a little tougher to find polishes for comparison.  It’s orange with an underlying coral-pink tone in some lights.  Rica is pinker than Jesy, and Tinsley is much pinker.  Amy is much more intensely pigmented and a really bright orange with no coral or pink.  It’s hard to pick a favorite, as I don’t wear orange much.

Zoya comps2 ASMR bottles

Zoya comps2 ASMR swatches

These four sparkly greens are all more similar than I thought they’d be.  I’ve compared Apple to Meg before, here, and Rikki is another foil that’s more silvery.  Stassi is the only one of these that has glitter, holo glitter no less, so I think it’s more complex.  Apple has by far the thinnest formula and needed the most coats, four.  All are really striking.

As always, hope this was helpful and fun to look at.  Now my nails are going to rest for a few days!

Disclosure:  Many but not all of these polishes were supplied 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 Zoya.com .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.


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