Tag Archives: swatch

I’m the Toast of New York!

Well, not really.  I’m not even the toast of Smalltown, Montana.  But I do have a lipstick from Revlon called Toast of New York that I recently bought and find myself reaching for over and over this fall.

For many years I’ve been wearing cool-toned lip products (or, when lazy, none at all) but it’s been fun to have Toast of New York (ToNY) which reminds me of a reddish-brown lipstick from Estée Lauder whose name I can’t recall that I wore all the time back in the late ’70s.

ToNY is an older shade in Revlon’s Super Lustrous line — a classic.  Vintage.  It was apparently a big deal in the ’90s because of supermodel Cindy Crawford, but I don’t remember the buzz.

Cindy Crawford Toast of New York

Revlon has produced great lip products for decades.  I’m not much of a fan of their eye products, especially the last eye shadows of theirs I tried, but they do lipstick right.  It’s hard not to be familiar with classics like Cherries in the Snow and Love That Pink.

ToNY is a warm reddish-brown that’s bright enough not to look muddy yet isn’t a screaming orange either.   It feels very creamy and applies well with good staying power.

Toast of New York base

How the lipstick itself looks with the camera flash:

Toast of New York

And how a swatch looks on the skin of my inner arm under indirect cloudy outdoor light:

Toast of New York swatch

I really like that it’s brownISH without being brown.  If you love Revlon lipstick or other lip products, it’s worth mentioning that Ulta is having a great sale this week — 40% off all Revlon.  Also 40% off Nyx, Physicians Formula, and Almay.

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.

Little Halloween treats

Did you check out the Sinful Colors polish at Walgreens’ 99-cent sale this week?  I didn’t need any more basic colors but drifted over to the new Halloween display to see what was, well, new.

I don’t like to spend much money on “costume”-type polish that I may only wear once or twice a year, but at 99 cents, a little bling is quite do-able.  Heck, you can’t even buy much of a candy bar or cup of coffee for that price any more.

I picked up two glitter/shard top coats, the alliterative Splatter Spell and Mystery Moonshine.

Splatter Spell is a clear base with various sizes of black hex glitter and copper-orange shards.  Mystery Moonshine is a clear base with copper-orange, blue-purple, and green shards or metallic shreds of various sizes.   I used two coats of each over two coats of the bright yellow Darcy from Zoya, so that all the particles would show up.  Then because it was a little scratchy I used a clear shiny top coat.

The outdoor light today is very gloomy and did not lead to good photos:

Splatter Spell

Mystery Moonshine

Sharper with the flash:

Splatter Spell flash

Mystery Moonshine flash

Both are OK, nothing amazing.  Fun for Halloween, and they could even be Mardi Gras toppers too.

New Ultra PixieDust from Zoya — the review

Disclosure:  These polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

More PixieDusts from Zoya, this three-polish set called Ultra, not Magical like the last two sets, which I reviewed here and here.

So why “Ultra” and not “Magical”?  These three new polishes do not contain holographic (holo) glitter like the Magical PixieDusts.  But they do contain hex and micro glitter, which makes them different from plain PixieDusts such as the ones reviewed here.

Got the difference?  Exxxxxxcellent.

zoya ultra pd banner

zoya ultra pd spills

The Ultra PDs are Oswin, Arianna, and Noir.

Ultra PD bottles

Zoya describes Oswin as true red, Arianna as wine red, and Noir as deep plum.

I applied two coats of each polish and took the photos under indirect outdoor light.  First all the pictures then my impressions.

Oswin:

Ultra PD Oswin

Arianna:

Ultra PD Arianna

Noir:

Ultra PD Noir

I found that none of them, especially Arianna, dried to a true matte finish.  Part of that reason is that I think glitter and matte are sort of contradictory.  I think the colors are pretty but found Arianna to be more of a pinkish-red than what I’d call a wine red.

Then I tried each color with two different top coats.  I put a clear shiny one on my little finger and a matte one on my ring finger.  Same lighting, same order of colors:

Ultra PD Oswin w top coats

Ultra PD Arianna w top coats

Ultra PD Noir top coats

So here’s what I think.  All three colors are pretty and glamorous yet I’m surprised they’re all so similar, especially Oswin and Arianna.  I think a dark green or a dark blue would have spiced up the set, but hey, it’s not my company.  Despite following Zoya’s tips for applying PDs (see below), the polishes on their own never dried completely matte and had something of an “unfinished” look to them, like they’d be sticky, although they weren’t.

My favorite look by far was with the clear shiny top coat.  Ooh, aah.  ULTRA glamour!  I liked them with the matte top coat too.  Color-wise, I like Oswin and Noir best.  Arianna is very close to Oswin so I don’t know why it doesn’t appeal to me more.

This set actually reminded me of two of the three polishes in an old discontinued glitter set from Zoya called the Mini-Glam Trio.

Zoya Glitters trio

I reviewed them here and they were just meh except that I did like Nova, the darkest one.  However, these three new Ultra PixieDusts are much better polishes — better formula, better coverage, better sparkle.

**********************************

Tips from Zoya:

Please view the following Zoya Video on how to correctly apply Ultra PixieDust by Zoya. Following the steps outlined in the video will provide optimal results for your new Zoya Ultra PixieDust color. Polish should have a matte finish with sparkle.

For best results: Prep nail with Zoya Remove Nail Polish Remover and Prep. Apply 1-3 (for full coverage) thin coats of Zoya PixieDust polish. Allow product to dry completely between each coat for full effect. Do not use a base coat or top coat.

If polish base does not dry down to a matte finish this may be due to not enough wait time between coats or because the color was not applied to a perfectly clean surface that is free of base coat (note: some basecoats may prevent the color from drying properly).

If the embed doesn’t work, here’s the link:  http://youtu.be/Sm5ZTEtYZmI

Each polish is $10 (US) at Zoya.com and as always, Zoya polishes are 5-free — free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and camphor.

Disclosure:  These polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Oy! I’ve got a Dodgy Barnett!

Haven’t swatched a Butter London polish in a while, and what better way to lead into a half-price sale at Ulta on Butter London lacquers this Saturday, September 13th, than to show you a fun one.

It’s called Dodgy Barnett, which is Brit slang for “bad haircut.”  I don’t know why.  Dodgy Barnett is a glossy silver holographic that came out as part of BL’s Fall 2012 Collection.  It’s rather sheer and works well as a top coat, giving a cool holo sheen to the underlying color, or can be worn on its own.  Here I have one coat of it on my little finger on the right, four coats on my ring finger, and one coat of it over three coats of the dark shimmery blue Big Smoke, also from Butter London.

First under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

Dodgy Barnett outd

DodgyBarnett flash

The Silver Nail loves this silver polish!

About the sale at Ulta — as far as I know it’s good both in-store and online, and there are probably limits as to the number of polishes you can buy.  Be advised that if you want to take advantage of the sale in person at a store, be there when the door opens.  This is a very popular sale.  If it’s good online I plan to have items in my cart and ready to go.  Did I mention that I don’t have a local Ulta since I moved?  Good news, though, because one is opening here soon, so I can be even more of a polish and makeup pig.  Oink oink.

There are some BL colors I’d love to pick up.  One from the Fall 2012 set along with Dodgy Barnett was the sage green holo Trustafarian.  Its photo on the BL site doesn’t do it justice; instead look at these swatches from The PolishAholic.  I may want to dabble in some of the new Brick Lane shades too.

Need suggestions?  You can search The Silver Nail by using the search box on the top right hand side of the page, and I’d recommend using “Butter London” in quotation marks as the search phrase or search for the name of the particular color you have in mind, like Scuppered, one of my all-time favorite colors for fall.  Don’t forget other warm colors like Shag and The Old Bill, too.

The September SquareHue subscription box — full review

Couldn’t resist what I thought would be fall colors from the monthly subscription box SquareHue for September.  This was the preview picture

SqH Sydney

and I expected a gold, a copper or russet, and a brown.

Give this lady a quarter, because she was very close.

SqH Sept14 box

SqH Sept14 bottles

Left to right:

  • Oxford Street
  • Crown Street (bottle says Crown Drive)
  • King Street

test

Oxford Street is a dark gold shimmer with an orange tone.  I actually thought it looked more like a light pumpkin color on my nails.  Formula was a little thin and I needed three coats.

SqH Sept14 Oxford

Crown Street is a bright reddish orange with gold shimmer, perfect for fall.  Two coats.

SqH Sept14 Crown

King Street is a reddish-brown creme.  The formula was very good but I think it looks a bit muddy on me.  Two coats as well.

SqH Sept14 King

My favorite of the three is Crown Street.  Such a bright autumnal color.  Oxford Street, being a little more sheer, might make an interesting top coat for other polishes.

Here are some comparisons in the bottles only to some previously received SquareHue polishes.

SqH Sept14 comp1

SqH Sept14 comp2

SqH Sept14 comp3

As you can see, Oxford Street is much more orange than the silvery gold Honor.  Crown Street is lighter and less brown than Amber Lager.  King Street is very close to Buckingham, but Buckingham is more red and I prefer it.  King Street is a near dupe for another polish I have, Pepper from Zoya.

The October box will be Milan, Italy, in the  Passport Collection.  Might skip this one because I see orange/red shades again.  I mean, I love fall colors, but c’mon!  There might be a black too, which would also hit a Halloween theme, like last year’s October box from SquareHue, which I skipped.

SqH Milan preview

 

 

Vintage from Sinful Colors

How about another budget-friendly polish from Sinful Colors?  I’m always up for those!

Here’s a new polish called Vintage.  In the store (Walgreens, SRP $1.99) and under fluorescent light, I thought Vintage was a dark gray with a green tone.  But, no, it’s a dark shimmery silver-green.

Despite the heavy shimmer, visible brushstrokes weren’t a problem.  The formula is a bit sheer and I needed three coats.  Under indirect bright outdoor light, it gives me lobster hands (makes my skin look red):

Vintage outd light

Under indoor artificial light, not so much:

Vintage ind light

Where it really sparkles — literally — is in direct sunlight.  Outdoors was too bright for my camera so I took a picture of my nails resting on a windowsill inside, but still in direct sun:

Vintage sun

Looking through my Mountain o’ Stash, I have two polishes that are close but not identical, Rikki from Zoya and Rags to Riches from Rimmel.  Both of those are lighter and not as grayed or neutral.

Rikki outd

Rags to Riches outd

I love Vintage as a darker silvery green for fall while Rags to Riches is a fave for spring.

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