Tag Archives: swatch

The Ignite Collection from Zoya — swatches and comparisons

Disclosure:  The Ignite Collection and some of the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

FedEx came through!  Yesterday I posted that the package from Zoya containing my Entice and Ignite Collections had gone astray and been delivered…. somewhere.  Not to my house.  But a phone call got the ball rolling and, by gosh, I think I had several concerned FedEx employees tracking that baby down.  The driver got one number wrong on the address and my package was a mere block away.

I walked down to that house, where I saw my package sitting alone and forlorn on the porch.  The bottles inside were whispering, “Take us home.”  So I did.

Here are some official photos of the set:

Zoya Entice Ignite 5

Zoya Entice Ignite 2

  • 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

My bottles in the same order:

Ignite set

The Ignite Collection really grabs me because they’re foils, and as I’ve said ad naseum, that’s my favorite polish finish, since foils usually don’t show brushstrokes yet they are shimmery and even somewhat glittery.  The formula of all six Ignite colors was great, and unless otherwise noted I used two coats of polish, no top coat, and the photos are under indirect outdoor light.

Let’s start with the best named polish EVER, Autumn.  It’s the copper foil I’ve wanted for ages.  I’ve tried other colors that, while beautiful, have been more orange or gold or brown than what I had in mind.

Ignite Autumn

Comparing Autumn to Zoya’s Channing from last year’s fall Satins Collection, Channing is more orange-red.  Comparing Autumn to Revlon’s Fall Mood, Fall Mood is lighter and more gold and silver.

Ignite Autumn comp

Ignite Autumn comp2

Ignite Autumn comp3

Being the fall polish hog that I am, I love all three and feel they each give a distinctive look.

India is indeed a deep red gold, very dark yet the sparkle keeps it from looking blackened.

Ignite India

Comparing India to Zoya’s Blair, they are close in color but Blair is a shimmer and not a foil.  I like both but if I could only pick one it would be India.

Ignite India comp

Teigen has a lighter violet base than India and looks dark raspberry or light red-plum.  Couldn’t think of other polishes close to Teigen’s look to compare.

Ignite Teigen

Sansa is a dark plum or eggplant with gold sparkle.  It was almost but not quite a one-coater.

Ignite Sansa

In the bottles, Sansa looks similar to Zoya’s Daul….

Ignite Sansa comp

… but on the nail, not even close.  Daul is much, much lighter and more sheer.

Ignite Sansa comp2

Remy.  Oh my gosh.  It’s a dark teal that mesmerizes me.  The base is dark blue, and get this — it’s a one-coater!  One coat gives fantastic coverage.

Ignite Remy

Remy begs a comparison to Zoya’s Charla, but Remy is darker and covers much better.  I needed three coats of Charla.

Ignite Remy comp

Yuna is a dark gray and at first, looking at the bottle, I thought it had a greenish tint.  But I think that’s an illusion from the gold sparkle; it’s a true gray.

Ignite Yuna

Comparing Yuna to Zoya’s Claudine and Cassedy, Claudine is similar in color but is a shimmer, not a foil.  It has more of a dark gunmetal vibe to me.  Cassedy is lighter and more silvery than Yuna.

Ignite Yuna comp

Ignite Yuna comp2

Overall, I love this set so much.  Two of my favorite things, fall and foils.  My favorite ones?  That’s tough because I really love them all except Yuna, and that’s only because dark grays don’t look good on my skin tone.  Remy gets an extra gold star for being a one-coater.  If I had to pick three they would be Autumn, India, and Remy, but Teigen and Sansa are no slouches either.

If there are any other comparisons you’d like me to make, just ask!

Tomorrow, barring unnatural disasters, I’ll review and compare the new set of cremes, Entice.

$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 Ignite Collection and some of the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

While we wait, let’s be Rich in Heart

I was so excited to be receiving my Zoya Entice & Ignite Collections media samples today.   The FedEx site said my box was “out for delivery,” then when I checked again later it said it was delivered, but… it wasn’t.  At least not to my house.


I don’t know where my package is, but it sure isn’t here.  I’ve searched my front porch several times, and it doesn’t even have any hiding places anyway.  So I’ve called FedEx to put a trace on the box and we’ll see what happens.  Sure hope I don’t have to wait a week for replacements, but if I do, I do.  It’s a real first-world problem, isn’t it?

To keep my fingers polished and my blog occupied while we wait, how about that 99¢ Sinful Colors sale at Walgreens I mentioned yesterday?  You just know I had to drop in.  Didn’t see any new fall collections but one shade called Rich in Heart (#265) was definitely calling my name.

Rich in Heart is a shimmery, vampy, blackened color, great for fall or winter.  The base is sheer black and it’s packed with a shimmer that defies definition.  Dark red?  Plum?  Brown?  Yes to all three.

The formula was good, first coat was a little streaky but the second coat covered very well.  Shiny, too.  Two views under indirect outdoor light and then with the fill flash:

Rich in Heart

Rich in Heart2

Rich in Heart flash

You can see in the bottle, especially in the second photo, how it seems to be several different colors.

I LOVE Rich in Heart, especially heading into fall, and at 99 cents, it rivals polishes that cost ten times as much.  Happy hunting at the Walgreens sale!


EDIT:  Dupe alert.  The only polishes I have — and believe me, I own a ton of reds from pale to dark — that could be considered duplicates for Rich in Heart are two that are unavailable.  Dear John from the February 2013 SquareHue subscription box is long gone, and Caroline from Julep is currently out of stock.  Even if Caroline was in stock, it costs $11-$14 for a tiny bottle of it.  Rich in Heart, like all Sinful Colors, is a full 0.5 oz/15 ml.

The SquareHue August box — Beverly Hills

Note:  Two of the comparison polishes were supplied by SquareHue.  I purchased the rest.

I haven’t talked about the monthly polish subscription SquareHue in ages.  Six months, to be exact, when I reviewed the February box with its bright, beautiful Tokyo theme.

I received the March box, Paris, but didn’t review them because I gave them away or frankened them into something else.  Then I suspended my subscription, and one thing I like about SquareHue is that you can do so easily, at any time and with no penalty.  The preview pictures I saw from April through July didn’t grab me enough to re-up; there was usually a yellow or yellow-green or orange, my least favorite polish colors, or I saw colors I felt I already had.

If you’d like to see the polishes from the last few months, peek at SquareHue’s “Look Book”:

There are some very pretty shades in every set yet I was OK with skipping.  But the August preview picture, Beverly Hills, looked like cool shades of silver & blue & purple.  Yeah, I have enough of those too but wanted the set anyway.  Were my guesses right?

SqH BevHills


SqH Aug14 box

SqH Aug14 bottles

Left to right:

  • Rodeo Drive — silver/gold/taupe microglitter
  • Cannon Drive — purple microshimmer
  • Wilshire Boulevard — bright medium-dark blue microshimmer

SqH Aug14 names

Note Cannon spelling on the card versus Cañon spelling on the bottle.  No big deal.

I LOVE these colors!  Come to Mama.

Rodeo Drive is what I would call a foil.  It’s a silver-gold-taupe color that I think is wearable any time of year but really grabs me as we move towards fall.  This polish, as well as the other two, had an excellent formula and two coats gave great coverage.

SqH Aug14 RD

Cañon Drive is a grape-purple microshimmer that’s almost a frost or chrome.  Brushstrokes were a wee bit visible but not bad.

SqH Aug14 CD

Wilshire Boulevard is a great blue shimmer.  Yeah, I have a boatload of polishes that are a similar shade but I love this color so much.  So vibrant.

SqH Aug14 WB

I pulled out some older SquareHues that I thought would be good to compare, and only Rodeo Drive had a near dupe.  But it’s more of a taupe than Champagne Toast in the inaugural box from December 2012, and not as yellow-gold as Honor from July 2013.  I have no close ones within the brand for Cañon Drive or Wilshire Boulevard.

SqH Aug14 comps


SqH Aug14 comps3

SqH Aug14 comps2

I no longer own Ginza from February — liked it a lot but gave it to someone who liked it even more — but here’s a swatch.  It was much lighter than Wilshire Boulevard.


I’m REALLY glad I got the August box.  If you’re interested in these polishes but aren’t a subscriber, I’ve read that some people have had luck contacting SquareHue and asking to buy them outright.  Also, they are running a special at their web site in which new subscribers will get a free box from past collections added to their first month.

I’m planning on getting the September box too.  The theme is Sydney, Australia, and I see fall colors in the preview picture:

SqH Sydney

I’m digging the copper shade.  Hope the yellow, if there is one, is a fun finish — I’m always up for a holo!

Note:  Two of the comparison polishes were supplied by SquareHue.  I purchased the rest.

The Naturel Deux (2) Collection from Zoya — full review

Note:  These polishes were supplied for review by Zoya.

A few weeks ago the Naturel Deux Collection from Zoya was announced, a set of neutrals to carry us from summer into fall.

Zoya Naturel Deux spills2

Zoya Naturel Deux spills

Zoya Naturel Deux spills3

The colors are, with Zoya’s descriptions:

  •  Madeline: Muted Rose
  •  Aubrey: Medium Mauve
  •  Marnie: Deep Warm Plum
  •  Spencer: Camel
  •  Chanelle: Toasted Almond
  •  Emilia: Dark Chocolate

I was excited to receive these but am running a bit behind other bloggers and their swatches, because I was out of town and without internet access when the sign-ups began.  But they arrived yesterday and you better believe I got my mitts on them as soon as possible.

Zoya Nat2 set

All six are cremes and each one has an excellent formula.  Two coats covered well, and additionally each one is very glossy.  All photos are under filtered bright outdoor light.  [A note:   I must apologize for the condition of my nails and cuticles, and for the quality of the photos.  We’re still getting settled in our new house and it seems like I’m opening boxes or fixing something or pulling weeds every day.  Even though I use gloves my hands are in terrible shape.  Also, I’m adjusting to different lighting and the best spots to take pictures.  Thanks for your patience!)



I’d call it a light to medium mauve.  It’s a beautiful color yet I don’t feel it offers anything new or different.  It would be a great shade for work yet also might be called a “grandma color.”  I do like mauves, honest, but how many do I need?



This is a darker mauve that I think has just a bit of an edgy look.  Not wild and still work-safe, but fashionable.  I love Aubrey.

Marnie (the label on my bottle says Marney):


Marnie/Marney is a very dark brown-plum — maybe call it raisin?  It’s browner and a bit less purple or rosy than I expected.  Stylish too, yet I feel this shade looks a bit muddy on my skin tone.



Camel is a good description; it’s a grayed beige neutral or nude.  Doesn’t show up well on my medium skin tone but I think it’d be lovely on someone with either pale or dark skin.



This is a beautiful pale milk chocolate color, again slightly gray.  Hmm, can’t decide if I love it or not!



A dark chocolate brown that is also gray-toned.

I like a lot of the Naturel Deux set, but let’s compare them to some older Zoya shades.  Comparisons to the first Naturel set from last spring are inevitable.  Here are the mauves/plums:

Zoya Nat2 comp1

I no longer own Rue from the first Naturel set, but it was a very light dusty pink with a purplish tone.  Hopefully you can see that the N2 mauves — Madeline, Aubrey, and Marney — are warmer and redder in tone, which befits fall.

Spencer compared to Taylor and Chantal:

Zoya Nat2 comp2

Spencer isn’t similar to either of the other two, although I thought Taylor and Chantal were much like each other.

There are two polishes from last fall’s Cashmeres set that beg comparison, Flynn and Louise.  Looking at the light to medium browns:

Zoya Nat2 comp3

Spencer is similar to Flynn but is a little lighter, and Chanelle is quite a bit darker than Flynn.

The dark browns:

Zoya Nat2 comp4

Not really close.  Louise seems to me to be a richer, warmer color, and Emilia is much more gray.

Hope all these comparisons are not overwhelming.  I preferred Flynn for a camel tan neutral and Louise for a chocolate brown.

Overall I like the Naturel Deux Collection but am not wild about it.  Admittedly I’m not a huge fan of neutrals in general; my inner child usually wants something brighter.  Aubrey was my surprise favorite of the group — a mauve or plum-pink yet dark enough to be a little different and very stylish.  All these colors go well together so if you wanted to have two-tone nails or some other kind of nail art, or want a lot of neutrals for on-the-job looks, maybe you can rationalize several.

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

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

Note:  These polishes were supplied for review by Zoya.

Be a Nail Junkie on a budget

Being a polish collector doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, as I’ve talked about many times before.  Since my move a month ago, I’m finding some polishes in my stash that I forgot I had, ones I’ve never swatched.  Think I’ll be a …. Nail Junkie!

Nail Junkie is an older polish from Sinful Colors that I believe is still available.  Sinful Colors is a brand that usually costs $1.99 for a full-size bottle but it’s often on sale for half-price at Walgreens, making it super-affordable.  And it’s not junk polish, either — some of my favorites are SCs.  See here and here, for example.

Nail Junkie is a glitter that looks dark in the bottle but much lighter on the nail.  It’s a mix of multicolored medium-to-tiny sized glitter in a sheer teal base, and it’d be hard to build up opacity on its own, so I like it as a top coat over other polishes.

Here it is by itself, three coats on my little finger, one coat over a dark blue shimmer on my ring finger, and one coat over a black on my middle (left-most) finger, under indirect outdoor light.  The photo is confusing because Nail Junkie in the bottle seems like it would look like the polish on the far left, but it doesn’t; to get that look you’d have to use it over black.

Nail Junkie

I love Nail Junkie — it gives a pretty underwater look — but don’t care for it on its own.  I like it over both the dark blue and the black.  I showed my nails to Mr. Silver Nail for the old guy adult male opinion and he liked it over the two dark colors too.  Said that by itself it looked like something more for a kid.  What do you think?  I think I need to get some more Sinful Colors pretty soon!



Ooh… aah… Anastasia

Some quick swatches today.  Although it’s still only July, summer is going fast and fall’s right behind it.  Yeah, like that’s news!

I’ve had Anastasia from Zoya for a long time but have never reviewed it.  Unfortunately the polish itself doesn’t seem to be available on Zoya’s American site any more, but sometimes popular colors will come back, plus there are sometimes other outlets to buy or swap discontinued polish.  If you’re searching for it, the item number is ZP383.

Anastasia was part of the Mystique Collection all the way back from 2006.  It’s a warm brownish plum or purple with gold shimmer, very autumnal.  The formula was good but a little more sheer than I’ve come to expect from the newer Zoyas.  Three coats, no top coat, under filtered bright sunlight:


Really love the color and finish and it’s a great fall color.  While it’s a bummer that it’s been discontinued, an alternative shade could be Kalista, which is more brown but still purplish.  And we don’t yet know what Zoya’s fall or winter shimmery sets will be.  At least I don’t!

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.


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