Tag Archives: swatch

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.



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.


New Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 from Zoya — the review

Disclosure:  These polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Hot off the FedEx truck, the new PixieDust polish trio from Zoya, called Magical PixieDust Summer 2014!  I reviewed the first trio in February here.  It contained a white (Cosmo), a very light silvery pink (Lux), and a blue (Vega).

The new summer set has a light beige called Bar, a medium pink called Ginni, and a pink-purple named Arlo.  Each one is a clear or sheer base with micro glitter that gives it most of its color, plus larger holographic glitter, in small and medium hex sizes.

Bar Ginni Arlo

Bar was the lightest and I needed four coats.  It has an attractive “sparkling sand” look yet I don’t like having to use four coats (looks quite thick) so would more likely use it as a top coat over, say, a neutral creme.  Under the flash:

Bar flash

Ginni is a pink that’s brighter than Lux and has a slight warm coral tone instead of a silver one.  Very pretty!  Three coats under indirect bright outdoor light:

Ginni outd light

Arlo is an orchid or pink-purple.  As with Binx from the Bubbly Collection, I expected Arlo to be more purple from its preview pictures.   Its base is more tinted than the other two.  Three coats under indirect bright outdoor light:

Arlo outd light

You can really see how the holographic glitter sparkles and shows such a multicolored flash.

All three of these new polishes are pretty, yet I would have liked to have seen more of a color variety.  Between this trio and the first one, we basically got three shades of pink.  Arlo is not the true purple I’d hoped for although it’s beautiful and I love the color.  While all the shades are summery, maybe a green would have shaken things up a bit?  A dark purple or navy blue?  Maybe those colors will be in future sets, no idea.

Here are some of the first trio shades compared to these three new ones.  I didn’t show Vega, the blue, because it’s so different from the others.

Lux Ginni Arlo Bar Cosmo

Lux Ginni Arlo

If you can only pick a few, I’d say that for a neutral either Cosmo or Bar is great.  Do you want a “snow” look or a “sand” look?  With the three pink ones, pick your favorite shade.  I think I like Arlo best of the three various pinks.  The blue Vega, from the first trio, is something different.

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.

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.

The day was in dire need of a Ctrl+Alt+Delete

That’s one of my favorite sayings ever.  Anne Taintor, purveyor of vintage sassiness, has it on a coaster set and sticky notes.


And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.  Don’t you wish sometimes you could just reboot your whole day?  Today is one of those days.

Had a major home service call scheduled today for 2 p.m.  The time was confirmed twice for me, by two different people.  So guess who shows up at 9 a.m.??  I was still schlepping around in my fuzzy robe, drinking coffee and checking email.

Then later, when wrestling with a window screen, I managed to break off a nail and chip two others on my swatching hand.  I realize that, as newsworthy tragedies, this does not rate very highly, nor should it, but it was just another “Oh,  $&^#!” thing.

It’s too early in the day to start drinking heavily, so one way to cheer up is to pull out a bright nail polish, chips and breaks be damned.  I grabbed an older color from Julep that I got on sale, Maria.

Maria is unfortunately no longer available on Julep’s site, but if you like it you might find it in a swap somewhere.  It’s a light silvery pink, and I was going to call it a foil but think it’s more accurate to call it a chrome.  It appears to be lit from within.  And wonder of wonders, it’s a one-coater for me.  One coat, no top coat, under indirect bright outdoor light:


I don’t have another polish exactly like this.  Essie’s 2012 set of chromes called Mirror Metallics had a lavender named Nothing Else Metals that was close, but no pink.

And because just about everything reminds me of a song or a movie, this polish Maria reminds me of the song “Sweet Maria” from the original Mission Mountain Wood Band, a 1970s Montana legend.  Enjoy the song along with all the old LP pops and hisses!

Lead singer Rob Quist is still making music and sounding mighty fine.

Yep, a bright polish and an upbeat song — I feel better!


Z is for Zara

… and Zoya, who makes Zara.

I was in a purple mood today and dug Zara out of my stash.  Thought I’d swatched it before, but apparently not, so let’s remedy that.

Zara was part of the 2008 Flourish Collection, a winter set consisting of a wide variety of colors.  Scrangie swatched them all when they were released HERE.  Some really gorgeous ones, including one of my fave rose golds, Shivon.  But Zara doesn’t seem very wintery and strikes me as more of a spring or summer shade.

Zoya calls it an opaque blue-violet, but I found it to be more of a pinkish lavender, and it was quite sheer, requiring four coats.  The cool thing about it is its gold duochrome shimmer.  With no top coat, under bright indirect sunlight, at two different angles:



Then in direct sunlight:

Zara sun

As I’ve blathered before, this is one of my favorite kinds of polish — it looks demure at one angle or in one light, but at/in others it’s got an extra kick.  A nice little surprise that says, “Why, no, I’m not boring.  Did you think I was?”

Layering with Bubbly

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

After my review of Zoya’s new Bubbly Collection, and all the comparisons I did a few days ago, I got to wondering about how some of the polishes in this set would look layered with each other since they’re sheer.  Let’s experiment.

As I mentioned, I was disappointed that Binx was not more purple.  It’s a darker pink than Harper but not what I’d call purple.  So I swatched two coats of Binx over two coats of the blue holo glitter, Muse.  Shown with the bottle of Alma for contrast:

Binx and Muse

Now that, I’d call purple!  I could have been more neat in my application around the edges, but you get the idea.  Binx and Muse alone are three coats each.

How about the green Stassi with Muse?  Here’s one coat of Stassi over two coats of Muse, also shown with the bottle of Alma for contrast:

Stassi and Muse

I’m sure none of you will be surprised to see that layering a green over a blue gives you a blue-green.  I think it’s a beautiful “sparkling ocean” look.

You could layer any of the colors together, although green plus orange or blue plus orange might look muddy and indeterminate.  I’m also not sure layering the peach-gold Alma with the orange Jesy would make a huge difference.  But remember my byword for 2014:  PLAY!!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.


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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