Tag Archives: red

A quick look at Sarah

Still trying to decide what to order for Zoya’s Earth Day Exchange?  A comment from a reader reminded me (thanks!) that I have never swatched Sarah.  And that’s a shame, because it’s one of my favorite reds.

Sarah is a cool-toned metallic red.  Not too dark, not light — I’d call it medium-dark.  Definitely not blackened.  And more of a metallic than a subtle shimmer.  Sarah is from the 2010 winter/holiday collection called Flame (may have originally been called Fire & Ice) and I only see three of the original six shades still for sale on Zoya’s site.  The ones not there as of this writing are Tiffany, Valerie, and Lisa, which is too bad because those are great too.

Anyhoo, Sarah is a classic red, great for winter holidays or the 4th of July or Canada Day or just because you feel like wearing red.  The formula is Zoya-typical-great and two coats might have been enough but I used three for a better photo.  With no top coat under indirect cloudy outdoor light:


I love the name Sarah and the polish Sarah, too!

My top 10 (or more) Zoyas!

Disclosure:  Some of these polishes were previously supplied by Zoya for review.

I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for ages — my top 10 (may stretch to 12 or more) colors of Zoya polish.  What better time to do this than in preparation for their annual Earth Day Sale/Exchange?  Half-price quality polish.  It’s like Christmas in April.

I was inspired to get off my duff and post this by blogger The Mercurial Magpie, who just did a similar post.  Please look at her great pictures and swatches here.  Lots of great colors — will we mostly differ on our own personal top shades?

Here are my favorite Zoyas, in no particular order.  I can’t say a certain one is #3 and another one is #7 or whatever; a lot depends on my mood and the time of year.  Let’s get started!

I love pink and I especially love a good raspberry pink.  Moxie has been one of my fave Zoyas ever since I got my little paws on it.  It was out of stock for a while, came back, and is out of stock again as of this writing, but Zoya has another color that is very, very close called Brie.  I think my swatch of Brie is a little less orchid/purplish than how it appears on Zoya’s web site.


Although I don’t wear gold polish very much, I think it’s good to have one in one’s stash, especially around winter holiday time.  A great gold foil is Ziv.

Ziv outd light

I think Zoya does foils really well, and it’s one of my favorite polish finishes because it’s shimmery without being full of chunky glitter, and it doesn’t show brushstrokes.  Another fave foil of mine is the teal Zuza plus a new one this year, the lighter green Dillon.  Love both!

Aw. Dillon w Zuza

One polish I’ve mentioned many times is Jo.  It’s a periwinkle blue with silver shimmer.

Jo outd light

Another blue, yet totally different, is Dream.  It’s a medium-dark blue with small holo glitter.


How about some reds?  Red is such a classic when it comes to nail polish.  Last fall I loved Channing, a coppery red shimmer.  It screams “autumn” to me.  Fortunately it doesn’t scream when I’m trying to sleep.

Channing outd

For a more summery red, I love the pinkish Kimber.  Is this a great watermelon color, or what?!?

Kimber outd light

Want a dark vampy red?  New to me this year was Norra, a wine purple-red that I’m saving for fall.  A lot of designers used it in the most recent New York Fashion Week show, if you care about things like that.


If I could only have one red from Zoya, though, I think it’d be Rekha.  It’s a medium red creme that’s very glossy on its own, and it always strikes me as classic and retro both.  (Sorry about the uneven length of my nails.)

Rekha ind outd light

I couldn’t be The Silver Nail unless I had a great silver polish, could I?  One I reach for over and over is Trixie.  It’s a bright silver foil, almost a chrome, that doesn’t show brushstrokes like many other brands that I’ve tried.  My own swatch photos of it are not great, so I’ll just show you the bottle from Zoya’s web site.  Cheater.


Finally, let me re-show you a very cool royal purple that can be sophisticated or just plain fun.  Belinda:

Imperial Russia outd light

Well, that was an even dozen polishes, and yet I know I’m forgetting a few more of my favorites.  What are your “can’t-live-withouts”?

Disclosure:  Some of these polishes were previously supplied by Zoya for review.

The Blood Moon

Blood Moon — sounds like the latest horror/romance series featuring vampires, werewolves, and angst-ridden tweeners.  But fear not, it’s an actual meteorological event, a total lunar eclipse, and it happens tonight.  In good news for many of us, the Western Hemisphere will be prime viewing territory.  Get all the details about times, expected cloud cover, and so forth here at The Weather Channel.

I can’t decide if I’ll stay up to see it, go to bed and get up at midnight or so, or sleep through it and look at photos tomorrow.  I do know that whenever in my life I’ve had the chance to view or ignore famous comets and other events in the heavens, I’ve been glad I took the time to actually watch.  Total solar eclipse, Halley’s Comet, other comets — yep, glad I saw them.

It’s called a Blood Moon because the moon will look red.  Nowadays we know all the scientific whys and wherefores, but imagine how frightening this might have been to ancient civilizations who probably thought blood on the moon was a very bad sign.

Did you know some cultures used to have and still have moon viewing parties?  Probably the most famous are in Japan, and they’re usually for the harvest moon, not eclipses.  Read about tsukimi here if you’re interested.  What a beautiful concept.  Sometimes we rush around so much, from sunup to sundown to bedtime without really looking at and appreciating the world around us.

At any rate, how about a pretty red polish for tonight’s Blood Moon?  Here’s a suitably dark red shimmer, so dark because it’s base is actually black.  It’s Caroline from Julep, another polish of the company’s that I bought in a sale.  Unfortunately, and I don’t mean this as a tease, it’s no longer available on Julep’s site.  If you love it you may find it available in a swap or sale somewhere.

The formula was good, streaky and thin on the first coat but with great coverage and shimmer on the second coat.  The base is a semi-sheer black and the shimmer is a slightly warm-toned dark red.  Two coats, no top coat, under indirect sunlight and then with the flash:


Caroline flash

This is one of those vampy blackened polishes that I love when I have short nails.  Makes me feel fashionable.  On long nails and especially on pointy long nails, blackened shades can, I think, be very aging to our hands as we get older.  Too long and too dark blood red and you’re getting into Dragon Lady Land.  But on short nails, love it.

Caroline is a color I’d wear a lot more in the fall and winter.  If you’re looking for a blackened red shimmer and don’t want to track down a discontinued polish, may I recommend Blair from Zoya.

And speaking of Zoya — don’t I always? — check back here at The Silver Nail first thing tomorrow morning for a big announcement.  We gotta find something good about Tax Day, right?  :-D

Baseball, apple pie, and… nail polish?

You bet!  The OPI news just keeps coming.  I can hardly believe how many sets the company is coming out with this spring.  Introducing Fashion Plate, and that’s “plate” as in baseball.



The colors are:

  • Short – STOP! – Go for it! This rich red creme is a real catch
  • Love Athletes in Cleats – This shimmery red and a man in uniform: that’s romantic now
  • Orange You Going to the Game? – This bright and playful orange is the ticket to fun
  • Right Off The Bat – This frosty navy blue is a definite home run
  • 7th Inning Strrretch – Take this steely grey blue at the ballgame
  • Umpires Come Out at Night – Friday night at the game is perfect for this deep midnight blue
  • Girls Love Diamonds – Whether on the fingers or on the field, this pure white is totally engaging!

Not every major league baseball team has red, white, and/or blue in their team colors, but a lot of them do.  Plus OPI snuck that orange-red in there.

There will be a mini-set that includes six (not just four as usual) of the shades.  The only one not in the mini-set is Right Off the Bat.


Just discovered these are out NOW.  You can get them at my fave etailer, Beyond Polish.  Even if you’re not into baseball, you could sure have a patriotic 4th of July with these.  Or Canada Day.  Or Bastille Day.

Pretty colors! (We can’t have them.)

Well, I was waiting for the last bit of Zoya news from New York Fashion Week (NYFW) and here are the three polish colors used by designer Zang Toi (click on it for a larger view):


The green is called Peony Princess, I still don’t know what the red is called, and the black is Art Deco Goddess.  All appear very shimmery.  You can read just a bit more about them here.

Zoya answered my direct questions on their Facebook page and said all three are new colors but there is NOT going to be a Limited Edition trio of the polishes for sale as in past years.  Part of me is disappointed and the other part of me is saying, in sour grapes fashion, “I didn’t want them anyway.”  Actually I think that red looks great.  The green reminds me a bit of Zoya’s Midori, a polish I already know is not flattering for me, but then again I think Peony Princess is not so yellow-toned.  The black, eh.  I have more than enough black polishes considering I hardly ever wear them.

Overall I’m disappointed in the lack of variety shown in the NYFW designers featured by Zoya.  Ten designers — TEN!! — and they all used black/dark gray, white, nude, or dark red, with this Zang Toi green being the one exception.

Obviously, I am in a child-like sulk right now, so I’m going to take my toys and go home.  I’m sure I’ll feel better after a snack and a nap.

A vampy Zoya from New York Fashion Week

I keep checking the Zoya news from New York Fashion Week (NYFW) and frankly, very little of it thrills me so far.  It’s been going on for days and the Zoya looks so far can be summed up in three words:  nude, black, dark red.  Wait, that’s four words.

The nude/neutral with or without black look, seen here from Peter Som, here from Mark and Estel, and here from Rolando Santana all have a samey-same look that makes my eyes glaze over.  I was hoping for a little more variety.  Several designers are showing a dark red nail look:  Zana Bayne used Norra, Zimmermann used Sam, Alexandre Herchcovitch used Sasha (along with the ubiquitous neutral), and Noon by Noor used Norra too.  I particularly loathe the “nude nail with a black or red half-moon at the cuticle” look, which I call the “I slammed my fingers in a drawer ’til they bled” look.

There are still three designers to go — Maria Cornejo, Timo Weiland, and Zang Toi.  Is it too much to hope for something different??

At any rate, I do own two of those dark reds, so let me show you Norra.  It really is gorgeous.  Norra is a dark, vampy wine red that seems to have brown tones in some light and purple ones in another.  It has a very slight silver shimmer but mostly looks like a creme on the nail.

The formula was good and I used three coats, no top coat.  Under indirect snowysnowysnowy outdoor light:


You can really see the shimmer in the bottle.

I love this color although probably won’t wear it again ’til fall; it’s so dark.  Would be pretty for a nighttime look as well.  I’d recommend wearing something this dark a red on relatively short nails, because on long nails a dark blood red runs the risk of looking creepy or witchy.


EDIT:  2/12/14, two more designers have shown their Zoya looks.  Maria Cornejo used Purity (white) and Timo Weiland used Claudine (very dark gray).  Just kill me now.  Save us from mediocrity, Zang Toi!!!!

OPI Brazil Collection — new big honkin’ pictures!

Three months ago I announced OPI’s Spring Collection, Brazil.  The set is a mix of brights and neutrals.  Now we have new official pictures of the bottles straight from OPI — BIG pictures – to help us make our decisions.  Click on any picture for a much larger view.

Next Stop…The Bikini Zone


Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around


Taupe-less Beach


I São Paulo Over There


OPI Scores a Goal!




I Just Can’t Cope-acabana


Where Did Suzi’s Man-go?


Toucan Do It If You Try


Kiss Me I’m Brazilian




Red Hot Rio


Can’t say as the neutrals taupes or greiges thrill me for spring, but I always try to keep in mind that new polishes are aimed at everybody, all skin tones under the sun.  I’m particularly drawn to the very dark teal of AmazON…AmazOFF, and also to the tomato red-orange of Toucan Do It If You Try.

As mentioned earlier, there will be two mini-sets, one of regular polishes and one of Liquid Sands (matte textures).  The regular set will contain Next Stop…The Bikini Zone (S), Kiss Me I’m Brazilian, AmazON…AmazOFF, and Where Did Suzi’s Man-go? .

Brazil Collection By OPI Minis

The Liquid Sands mini-set will contain Samba-dy Loves Purple, I’m Brazil Nuts Over You, What’s a Little Rain Forest?, and You’re So Flippy Floppy.

Brazil Collection By OPI Liquid Sand

Release date is February 5, 2014, at salons and retailers.

Hide & Go Chic with Essie this spring

News about Essie’s upcoming 6-polish set for spring!  It’s called Hide & Go Chic and here are the pictures I’ve been able to find.

Essie Hide & Go Chic fan

Essie Hide & Go Chic bottles

(In this photo the pink and the nude are awfully close in color, and I don’t think that’s correct.)

Essie Hide & Go Chic bottles3

Essie Hide & Go Chic bottles4

  • Romper Room – Make way for the new kid on the block. This pretty pale tea rose pink knows how to work the room: stylishly.
  • Fashion Playground – Fun and games just met their match. This plucky pistachio green with subtle shimmer flirts with forever and plays for keeps.
  • Hide & Go Chic I see you! Covetable azure blue is ever elusive but impossible to miss.
  • Style Hunter – Bright. Hot. Laser-focused. This pure crimson is a chic-seeking missile that always gets exactly what it.
  • Spin The Bottle – Close your eyes. When you give this flirty, semi-sheer nude a whirl, be prepared to pucker up.
  • Truth or Flare – Sexy. Fun. Totally glamorous. Vintage blue denim fits perfectly. Honestly, these jeans always make you look fab.

Essie Hide & Go Chic bottles2

Essie Hide & Go Chic splash

Individually I think these are pretty colors but as a set they don’t seem cohesive, as if there’s no theme.  Not that there has to be a theme.  Guess we should all just be glad there’s not another lavender, Essie’s signature shade!  The colors are mostly quite different from Essie’s upcoming Resort set although there is another nude .

Transdesign has them listed for preorder, with a March 15th release date (subject to change).  The mini cube set of four contains Hide & Go Chic, Fashion Playground, Romper Room, and Style Hunter.

Gwen Stefani for OPI launched

In late October OPI announced an upcoming collaboration with singer Gwen Stefani, and now the collection is out.  I’ve seen the colors in stores such as Ulta but overall it strikes me as a holiday set that would have grabbed me a lot more before Christmas.

Guess OPI couldn’t have released it then, though, because it would have been fighting for shelf space with the company’s own Mariah Carey Collection.  A battle of the divas, if you will.

Gwen Stefani banner


Official press release:

OPI joins celebrity partner Gwen Stefani in announcing seven new limited edition nail lacquers for 2014, featuring standout color in breakthrough finishes. Highlights from the collection include a bold red lacquer that pays homage to Gwen’s signature lipstick, a new semi-matte satin finish in shades of gold and black, and a mirrored chrome paired with a special base coat.

Inspired by the 2013 Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala that featured the theme “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” OPI Executive VP and Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann decided to create a collection of lacquer celebrating the role of music as a major influence in fashion. “With her expertise as a singer, songwriter and designer, who better to collaborate with than Gwen Stefani?” asks Weiss-Fischmann. “Known for her trademark red lips, bold eye makeup and nail art, Gwen uses beauty to accessorize her style.”

Gwen’s signature red OPI hue – Over & Over A-Gwen – is available in a boxed set, which includes Swarovski black crystals and silver, gold and pewter studs in bar, square, diamond and circle shapes for creating unique nail designs, as well as nail glue for easy application. Love.Angel.Music.Baby. and 4 in the Morning feature a new, semi-matte satin finish designed to be worn without top coat. Push and Shove, a bold chrome hue, is also worn without top coat but requires a special complimentary base coat – Lay Down that Base. One thin coat of Lay Down that Base topped with two thin coats of Push and Shove yields an intense, mirrored finish. The collection is rounded out with two glossy crème lacquers and one sparkly glitter shade: Hey Baby, I Sing in Color, and In True Stefani Fashion.

OPI wanted to create a collection as dramatic, diverse and glamorous as its namesake,” adds Weiss-Fischmann. “With crème and glitter hues, new satin matte texture, a mirrored chrome and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, Gwen Stefani by OPI presents the latest in pigments and finishes, while combining elements of haute couture and street fashion.”

            Gwen Stefani by OPI includes the following seven limited edition nail lacquers: Hey Baby, I Sing in Color, Love.Angel.Music.Baby., 4 in the Morning, In True Stefani Fashion, Push and Shove* and Over & Over A-Gwen**.

Gwen Stefani by OPI nail lacquers contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application. This promotion will be available beginning January 2014 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for  $9.00 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each nail lacquer. The boxed set including Over & Over A-Gwen and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS will retail for $14.95 ($18.95 CAN).

For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

*Must be worn with Lay Down that Base, which is complimentary when purchasing Push and Shove

**Sold only in a boxed set including SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS


One of my favorite bloggers, The PolishAholic, swatched the whole set HERE.  Great photos, and I wanted to like the set, but it leaves me lukewarm.  I expected something wilder to be associated with Stefani.  Red, pink, black, silver, gold.  Yeah, we’ve seen those a few times.  I do think, though that the black satin 4 in the Morning and the gold Love.Angel.Music.Baby. are gorgeous.  The silver chrome Push and Shove is going to give me brushstroke nightmares.

If you’re a big Gwen Stefani fan it might be fun to get some of the polishes for the names alone.  And I do love the gold but now that Christmas is past I’m not very inclined to buy it.

London calling — the SquareHue January box

Yes, I just swatched and reviewed the SquareHue December box.  It was a late review — my fault, not SquareHue’s.  They’re really on the ball with shipping this year because I received the January box on December 31st, what a nice surprise!

As I say every time because there could be new readers, SquareHue is a monthly polish subscription box service.  You get three full-sized 0.5 oz/15 ml polishes, but you don’t know in advance what they’ll be.  It’s $14.99 plus $5.00 s&h to the U.S. and Canada and you can suspend or cancel your account any time with no penalty.

Let’s jump right in to the January box which is “London” in the company’s new Passport Collection theme.

SqH Jan14 bottles

SqH Jan14 bottles2

SqH Jan14 bottles3

Left to right:

  • Buckingham — an oxblood red creme
  • Westminster — an ultra-pale yellow or vanilla creme
  • West End (misprinted West Elm on the box’s card) — an ink-dark blue shimmer

I was surprised that we got a red and a pale yellow in this box, because we got ones in the last box, although last month’s red was a bright cherry color and the pale yellow was a sheer top coat with a duochrome sheen.  Still, I hope for more variety from month to month.

Buckingham is a dark red, slightly brownish creme, or what’s often called oxblood.  I wanted this color so badly last fall and couldn’t find exactly the right shade.  This is it!  Really love it and will wear it a lot in the fall or winter.  Application was good and two coats were almost but not quite enough, so I used three.  With no top coat under indirect outdoor light:


Westminster is either an ultra-pale yellow or a yellow-toned white, and I’m not a huge fan.  It was streaky and getting good coverage was difficult.  Three coats:


I thought I also detected a very, very slight greenish tone.  After I had this on, I went around the house holding up my hand against various objects and colors.  The couch.  A blanket.  The dog.  I thought it looked best against a dark green houseplant, so maybe I’ll wear it with something green one of these days.  I also think it might look better on someone with darker skin.

I tried it with a top coat of last month’s Broadway and couldn’t see a huge difference, which was disappointing.

Westminster with Broadway top coat

Even turning my hand at various angles plus trying a second coat of Broadway, the duochrome pinkish shimmer was almost impossible to see.

Moving on, the third color in this month’s box, West End, is lovely.  It’s a navy blue shimmer and again I used three coats although you might be able to get away with two:

West End

Dark and stylish, the shimmer is more apparent in the bottle than on the nail.  I think it’d show up more if I had some sunshine for my photos.

Overall, I love Buckingham and West End.  Westminster isn’t my cup of tea right now but I might like it more at Easter time or when I get a little more color in my skin.

The February box will be The Passport Collection: Tokyo, with the tagline “Nails ablaze, Harajuku Style.”  Intriguing!


Edit:  For some different photos in much brighter light — check out the shimmer of West End! — see blogger Nail of a Tale’s post here.  The off-white Westminster is her favorite, and it’s fun to see how we all have different tastes.  :-D


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