Tag Archives: creme

Wishes come true with the Holiday/Winter Collection from Zoya

What’s almost as good as getting new holiday polishes?  Getting news about them!

Meet WISHES from Zoya:

Zoya Wishes banner

Zoya Wishes sampler

Click on those photos or any of the others here for large, clear, detailed views.  And just let me dive into a vat of the holographic black Magical PixieDust RIGHT NOW!

This is my kind of holiday set — beautiful winter colors, a mix of finishes, and NO over-dependence on red.  We’re getting the sparkly Magical PixieDusts in blue, purple, and black that I’ve been dreaming of for months.

The official press release:

Wishes really do come true with this magical new nail polish collection for Winter/Holiday 2014! Zoya Wishes** is a densely pigmented assortment featuring both traditional and Magical PixieDust formulas in coordinating color combinations that can be worn alone or combined into stunning combinations, no matter how you wear them, this collection delivers a fanciful way to celebrate the season!

ZP766 – NORI: Sapphire blue Magical PixieDust* with holographic hex glitter, perfect for any holiday festivity.
ZP767 – THEA: Deep amethyst Magical PixieDust* with an orchid flash, packed full of party-ready holographic hex glitter.
ZP768 – IMOGEN: Black crystal Magical PixieDust* with holographic hex glitter, just add an LBD and you’re off!
ZP769 – PRIM: Velvet blue metallic, with a full coverage, high-density pigment and buttery smooth application.
ZP770 – HAVEN: True holiday plum liquid metal with a thin vein of orchid for added brilliance.
ZP771 – WILLA: Full-coverage, onyx black cream.

* Zoya Magical PixieDust is textured, matte and sparkling. No base coat and top coat required.



$9 (US) Standard Colors
$10 (US)  – PixieDust Colors

Available in top salons, spas and on zoya.com

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

Zoya Wishes display

Zoya wishes group

Zoya Wishes drip

The shimmery blue Prim is reminding me of one of my favorite Zoyas ever, the periwinkle blue called Jo.  And I’m looking forward to playing with and layering this set — Nori over Prim, Thea over Willa, Imogen over Haven.  Mix or match the colors.

Note that preorder starts today.  And enjoy these pictures!


UPDATE:  Zoya answered my question from an alert reader and confirmed that the black polish Willa is their earlier limited edition polish Black Swan renamed.

The Steampunk Ball 6-lacquer mini-set from Butter London — full review

Woot.  A new Ulta store just opened where I live and you better believe I was there the day it opened.  I was looking for the new 6-piece polish set of minis from Butter London called Steampunk Ball ’cause I had to see it in person.  The whole new collection is called Steampunk Ball, as is this one set.  There are other sets such as Gilded Gears and Clockwork Couture, but they either have colors I don’t want or ones I already have.  The release is confusing; know what you’re buying.

I attempted to briefly explain the concept of steampunk here a little over a week ago.

BL Steampunk

I couldn’t tell enough from the stock photos on either BL’s site or the Nordstrom’s site, especially about Barkers and Brass Goggles….

BL Steampunk Ball

BL Steampunk set

…. but when I saw them in person I wanted them.

Steampunk set

The colors, left to right, top row and then bottom row:

Barkers – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, grey with magenta-green shimmer

Pinkies Up – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, pink shimmer

Baroness – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, burgundy metallic

Full coverage, flaring shimmers in saffron red gel-like base

Full Steam Ahead – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, grey creme

Brass Goggles – Set Exclusive!
Semi-sheer, black and gold foil glitter

These are all new except for Bric-a-Brac, which was part of the fall Brick Lane set, but it’s a shade I’ve been craving so I’m cool with it being included.

Let’s jump right in!  I used two coats of each polish except for Bric-a-Brac which needed three, and Brass Goggles which is a top coat and needed but one coat.

Barkers is a very odd color, in a fascinating way.  It’s just like the official description, opaque gray with dark pink & green shimmer.  Kind of looks like a sheen of oil, if oil had sparkles.  The overall effect is purplish but it’s way more complex than just a shimmery purple.  Under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

Steampunk Barkers

Steampunk Barkers flash

Doesn’t it look absolutely wild in the bottle in the second picture?  Like some weird elixir.

Pinkies Up, on the other hand, is a demure peachy-pink shimmer.  Might look like it doesn’t belong in the set but I actually like it.

Steampunk Pinkies

Steampunk Pinkies flash

Let’s jazz it up.  The polish called Brass Goggles in this set is a glitter top coat, a clear base with gold and black glitter of various shapes and sizes, even some tiny black bar glitter and gold shards.  Here it is over Pinkies Up.

Steampunk P and BG


Baroness is a beautiful dusty burgundy shimmer and while I love the color, visible brushstrokes were a bit of a problem.

Steampunk Baroness

Steampunk Baroness flash

However, with the top coat of Brass Goggles, brushstrokes disappear, and it looks pretty cool.

Steampunk B with BG

Full Steam Ahead is the color I thought I’d like least, but for “only” a gray creme, I love it.  So smooth, and the bluish gunmetal shade strikes me as “just right” and very glossy.  Really glad I found this one since I have a hard time wearing medium to dark grays.

Steampunk Full Steam

I tried Brass Goggles over Full Steam Ahead but wasn’t crazy about it.

Steampunk FS with BG

Finally, Bric-a-Brac.  Love, love, love this “ruby slippers” polish.  The base is a pinkish-red and the heavy red and gold metallic is so beautiful.  A holiday polish for sure.

Steampunk BricaBrac

I didn’t try Brass Goggles over Bric-a-Brac because there was already so much glittery goodness going on.

So that’s the Steampunk Ball set.  The bottles are minis, 0.2 oz/6 ml, and the set is $39 SRP.  It does seem expensive for minis, but Butter London is more expensive than Zoya, OPI, and drugstore brands.

The polishes are not available individually or in full sizes except for Bric-a-Brac, and Full Steam Ahead is available as a full size in the Art of Alchemy set ($65) but that set also contains five older colors.

Overall I love this Steampunk Ball set and I’m OK with the bottles being minis.  I never use up full-size bottles anyway!  My favorite shades by themselves are Bric-a-Brac, Barkers, and Full Steam Ahead, and I also love Brass Goggles over Baroness.  Barkers is the most unusual shade in this set, and photos don’t do it justice.


Coming Monday, big news.  Have a great weekend!

AA, BB, CC, DD… and I’m not talkin’ bra sizes

It’s a jungle out there.  The jungle being cosmetics.  I don’t even pretend to totally understand all the ingredients, permutations of said ingredients, claims, and so forth of makeup and other beauty products, but I try.

Today I’ve got some musings on the “alphabet creams” versus tinted moisturizers.  You’ve probably seen both in stores — creams that are labeled AA, BB, CC, or DD, with more alphabet soup no doubt on its way.

Here’s a quick ‘n’ dirty list:

AA = anti aging

BB = beauty balm or blemish balm

CC = color correcting

DD = daily defense or dynamic do-all (OK, now it’s just getting silly)

To read in detail about these plus tinted moisturizer — the latter being exactly what it sounds like, moisturizer with a bit of color — let me point you towards several web sites that already explain it better and more thoroughly than I ever could.  FashionistaYou BeautyWomen’s Health Magazine.  Go ahead; read one or more of those and come back.  I’ll be here.

You don’t see creams literally labeled AA much.  The anti-aging properties are incorporated into the other descriptions.

BB creams were the biggies not long ago.  They were and still are super popular in Asia and when American companies jumped on the bandwagon they labeled many of their products as BB creams but they were not dupes of the Asian imports.  One reason being cost, I imagine, and the other being the FDA and its restrictions.  At any rate, every drugstore and high end cosmetics company in America seemed to rush out its own BB product.  A lot of people, including me, tried them and were not impressed.  They didn’t do anything.

I have not bought any CC or DD creams, and didn’t waste much money trying drugstore BB products.  I have tried a drugstore tinted moisturizer, a drugstore BB cream, and an Asian import BB cream — Cover Girl Aqua CG Smoothers Tinted Moisture, Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Protector, and Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream.  My tube of the Cover Girl moisturizer is old and I believe the company now calls the product a BB cream as well.

Let’s look at the two drugstore tubes first.  Click on any of the photos to see larger images for easier reading.

BB cream comp

BB cream comp back

The Cover Girl (left) is 1.35 oz/40 ml, and I don’t remember what it cost but it’s currently $6.29 at Target.  The active ingredients are 6% octinoxate and 3% zinc oxide, both of which are sunscreens, and the SPF is 15.  So it’s a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen.  In the next few photos I’ll show a dot of it on the back of my hand, the dot smoothed out just a little, and then the dot blended in well.

BB CG dot1

BB CG dot2

BB CG dot3

Doesn’t look like much, does it?  It’s like a very, very sheer foundation.  Give a bit of shine but no real coverage, and the sunscreen is nice but certainly nothing special.

[By the way, doing this review made me really look at the tube and it expired ages ago so I'm going to toss it.  Plus it doesn't do anything for me anyway.   Hey, want to know of a great site to check the age/expiration of cosmetics when all you have is a code on the tube/bottle/jar?  CheckCosmetic to your rescue!  Might want to bookmark it like I did.]

The Maybelline 8-in-1 BB claims that its eight benefits are “blurs imperfections, enhances, brightens, adjusts to skin tone, smooths, hydrates, SPF 30 protects, and has 0% oils and other heavy ingredients.”  Honey, you are reaching!  Its active ingredient is 1.15% titanium dioxide, so this is just another tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, but it’s SPF 30 and not 15 like the Cover Girl.  This tube contains 1.0 oz/30 ml and costs $7.49 at Target.

BB M dot1

BB M dot2

BB M dot3

The formula is thinner and runnier than the Cover Girl and again, this product is shiny and merely so-so.  I think its “benefits” claims are inflated.  But for days when I only want to wear a light moisturizer with sunscreen, it’s OK.  And of course I’m using it and the other products I’m talking about today on my face, not my hands.  While those two body parts are the same age of 55, the skin on my face isn’t nearly as “cross-hatched”-looking as the back of my hands!

OK, moving on, I recently purchased an actual Korean BB cream, Missha Perfect Cover in the color #21 Light Beige.  I’ve recently gotten interested in the Korean beauty box service (not subscription) called Memebox and they also sell products separately.

BB cream Missha

BB cream Missha back

No, I can’t read Korean.  At Memebox’s web site, the description is in English and you can also see the limited shade selection.  The Missha BB Cream contains 50 ml or about 1.7 oz., it has an SPF of 42, and its claims are that it “… promotes natural-looking coverage while providing sun protection, treating dark spots, and preventing wrinkles.”

The regular price on Memebox is $22.00 [ALERT 10/14/14: on sale temporarily for $13.20!] but I got it on sale for $15.40. The “key ingredients” are camomile extract, rosemary extract, ceramide, hyaluronic acid, and gatuline RC.  That last ingredient is an anti-aging compound derived from beech tree buds according to Dr. Google.  I like that some of the ingredients are natural.

BB Missha dot

BB Missha dot2

BB Missha dot3

I’ve only been using this Missha cream for a week or so but really like it so far.  It looks a bit grayish right out of the tube but blends in very well and does actually seem to blur the appearance of the pores on my face.  It’s too soon to say if it’s doing anything as far as slaying wrinkles or dark spots, but after using this plus a light finish of Mineral Veil from Bare Minerals I’m very pleased with the appearance of my skin.  I plan to keep using it and do a followup post at a later date.

Bottom line when buying a BB or CC cream — read ingredients, read reviews, and know what you’re getting.  Some of the marketing claims are ridiculous.  But you may be perfectly fine with a light tinted moisturizer with sunscreen as opposed to a heavier cream or a foundation.

Come to the Steampunk Ball with Butter London

Steampunk.  It’s an interesting word and an interesting concept.  It’s been around for decades but never really a mainstream idea.

So what is steampunk?  It’s a type of science fiction that combines the look of the late Victorian era with bizarre machinery, usually steam-powered.  Think H.G. Wells, although the term “steampunk” had not been coined yet; that popped up in the late 1980s.  It’s both vintage and futuristic.

The look often contains elements of Victoriana such as lace, long skirts, and top hats, but also has helmets, goggles, tattoos, and lots of unusual jewelry.  Colors are lots of black plus metallics such as gold, silver, and brass, but other colors are used too.

So let’s look at the newest collection from Butter London for Holiday 2014, Steampunk Ball.

BL Steampunk

BL Steampunk2

Butter London has been unlocking an item a day for a week, and I would have posted about it sooner had it been anything completely new.  But most of what’s been announced in the past week has been re-promotes of old colors, and I’ve found the “unlocking” process to be extremely tedious, not exciting as the company probably hoped.

But finally, the new polish colors.

BL Steampunk Ball

This is a set of minis (this set is called Steampunk Ball too) and is currently selling for $39.00.  BL calls its mini-bottles (0.2 oz.) “Fashion Size” which can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the company’s labeling.  Fashion size, really?  That’s like candy companies calling mini candy bars “Fun Size.”  Mini is not fun size.  Fun size would be a big honkin’ 8-ounce candy bar, my friends.

At any rate, the colors are, left to right, top row and then bottom row:

Barkers – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, grey with magenta-green shimmer

Pinkies Up – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, pink shimmer

Baroness – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, burgundy metallic

Full coverage, flaring shimmers in saffron red gel-like base

Full Steam Ahead – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, grey creme

Brass Goggles – Set Exclusive!
Semi-sheer, black and gold foil glitter

These are all new except for Bric-a-Brac, which was part of the fall Brick Lane set.  I don’t have Bric-a-Brac yet and find it and the Steampunk colors really attractive.  But I need to see bigger, better photos and hopefully swatches before making a decision.  Haven’t found many, although Butter London has had some teaser pictures on their Facebook page and also a 30-second video on their home page.

BL Steampunk look

BL Steampunk look2

And finally, Nordstrom’s has a slightly bigger picture of the bottles on their web site.

BL Steampunk set

You can find swatches of Bric-a-Brac online, since it’s not a new color.  Here are some good ones from blogger The Polish Hideout.  Click on any of her photos for a large, sharp look at the polishes.  Yep, loving Bric-a-Brac!  The new Steampunk Ball polishes are calling me too.


EDIT:  10/9/14 and 10/11/14, just read this on Butter London’s Facebook page, that the Steampunk Ball colors “will only be available in the set and in Fashion Size [mini] bottles.”  That’s very odd for a BL Holiday set!  Also, they have announced a large gift set called the Gears & Gadgets Ultimate Lacquer Trunk, a $300 value for $150.  This contains 20 mini Fashion Size polishes plus some nail treatments and tools.  Most of the polish colors are older ones, but the set contains Baroness, Brass Goggles, and other Steampunk new ones called Earl Grey, Clockwork Heart, and Right as Rain.

Earl Grey and Clockwork Heart are also in yet another set called Gilded Gears.  Earl Grey is an opaque steel gray metallic and Clockwork Heart is a satin matte wine shade.  This set contains two old colors, West End Wonderland and Goss.

Finally, a set called Art of Alchemy has six full-sized polishes but only one new one, Full Steam Ahead.  (So their comment of “only Fashion Size” is not true in this one case.)

This new release has been beyond confusing.  You can’t buy JUST the new Steampunk colors, although the Steampunk Ball set of six described above is five-out-of-six new.  You can’t buy full-sized bottles of them.  You can’t buy them at all without buying at least one old color.  Not cool, Butter London.

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!

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.

Color Seduction! Two new fall collections from Zoya — Entice & Ignite

I’m calling it right now:  I am IN LOVE.  Fall is my favorite time of year and brings TWO new six-polish collections from Zoya:  Entice and Ignite.

Thankfully, beaucoup official photos from Zoya.  Click on any one for a bigger image.

Zoya Entice Ignite 1

Zoya Entice Ignite display

Zoya Entice Ignite 4

Zoya Entice Ignite 3

Zoya Entice Ignite 5

Zoya Entice Ignite 2

Inspired by the classic wools, textured brocades, and metallic accents of the season, Zoya’s new ENTICE & IGNITE collections create a palette of lush, deep color including wines, browns, navy blues, and greys.

Zoya ENTICE delivers six new, glossy, intensely pigmented, full-coverage cream colors.

  • 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

 Zoya IGNITE offers a six shimmering red, gold, copper and purple liquid metal metallics.

  • 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



$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.

I’ll hardly know where to start swatching when I get them.  The metallic red gold of India looks so perfect for autumn, as does the copper of, well, Autumn.  Blues, plums, wine — I’m in heaven — are you?  :-D


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