An Adrenaline Rush — Orly’s summer set

Haven’t talked about Orly much lately, because I haven’t bought any.  Their spring collection, Sugar High, had me saying “meh” because it didn’t seem like a coherent set nor a particularly attractive one.

So is their summer collection called Adrenaline Rush better?  Well, it is brighter and more intense.  But where are the fun finishes?  Five cremes and one shimmer.

Orly Adrenaline Rush

They’re OK but I’d like to see something different since they look extremely similar to Orly’s own summer 2014 collection called Baked.  I get that summer is for neons and brights but it doesn’t have to be such a rerun.

Colors are:

  • Risky Behavior – Fuchsia pink creme
  • Fireball – Coral-red shimmer
  • Push The Limit – Peach creme
  • Thrill Seeker – Lime green creme
  • Be Daring – Purple creme
  • On The Edge – Indigo blue creme

There’s a mini set of the fuchsia, red, peach, and blue.

Seems like we have to wait for fall and winter to see any glitterati from Orly, and they used to have such great foils too.  Bah.  Boo.

Despite my negativity, have a great weekend!

Happy Earth Day!

There is no shortage of things to do on Earth Day for Earth Day.  I always talk about the big Zoya nail polish sale, and sure, that’s way fun, but what else is there?

Our valley is having numerous cleanup events, where volunteers show up and pick up trash and so forth, and I bet your area is too.

Perhaps think about getting an energy audit for your home; many power companies do them for their customers for free.

Have you been clinging to old, energy-hogging incandescent light bulbs?  Maybe you never liked those swirly compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and I admit I didn’t either, although I used them.  Now LED (light emitting diode) bulbs have come way down in price and are our bulb of choice.  They are more expensive to buy, but last much longer, cost less to operate, don’t have that CFL warm-up time, nor do they contain mercury like CFLs.  Something to consider.

Recycle everything you can.  It seems like a pain at first but after a while it becomes a habit and is no more trouble than throwing something away.  We recycle newspapers, magazines, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, and glass.  So yeah, not a lot goes in the garbage!  Even better if you can compost plant-based kitchen stuff like vegetable parings, coffee grounds, etc.  We really need to start a compost barrel.

Speaking of recycling, and getting back to nail polish, I won’t be sending any polish back to Zoya in their exchange; instead I will be donating unused and barely used bottles.  Where can you donate, you may wonder?  My first choice is the battered women’s shelter aka shelter for women fleeing abuse.  Maybe your community also has a shelter for homeless teens.  Don’t forget senior homes!  Give that great-grandma a purple glitter — you know you want to.  ;-)

So what’s in your wish list for Zoya polish?  I want to get some older polishes before they’re gone for good, and here’s my wishlist:  Jem, Bebe, Roxy, Mieko or Shiloh, and maybe Flowie.  Bebe looks like a sheer, silver & pink top coat that could be fun to play with and layer.

My wish list 4.22.15

Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange 2015

The rites of spring include the Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange!!  Half-price polish from Zoya — what’s not to love?!

Zoya earth day 2015

Go HERE and read all about it.

To sum up, for those who are new to Zoya’s Earth Day sale and for those who’d like a reminder, it’s half-price polish with free shipping.  SUCH a deal.  You also are on the honor system to return old, unwanted, non-Zoya polish for safe recycling, or you can donate unwanted polish to a good cause, which Zoya fully supports.  Personally I prefer to donate usable polish to the local shelters for women fleeing abuse or for homeless teenagers.

The main points to note are the code, dates, minimum order, and maximum order:

USE CODE: EARTHLUV
Offer valid 4/21/15 – 4/28/15 (11:59pm EST)

And now, just because I like to play with formatting, here’s the fine print spaced out for you.

Earth Day Exchange Terms & Conditions

Offer valid online at http://www.zoya.com only 4/21/2015 – 4/28/2015 (11:59PM EST).

Continental US & Canada ONLY.

Not valid with any other codes, coupons or promotions.

Consumer accounts must exchange a minimum of 6 polishes with a 24 bottle maximum. Salon accounts must exchange at least 12 with a maximum of 48 bottles. Polish can be from any brand and can be exchanged for in-stock .5oz Zoya Nail Polish shades only. Excludes Zoya Treatments. Offer is not contingent on customer returning polish.

One code per account.

Art of Beauty is not responsible for incorrect addresses, credit card entry errors, or any errors outside of our control.

All Earth Day orders for NEW Zoya Nail Polish will ship FREE via Standard Ground Shipping – shipping costs on the exchange of unwanted polish back to us is the customer’s responsibility.

Please allow standard time for processing and shipping, however if volume is higher than expected please allow up to 6 weeks for shipping and processing.

Art of Beauty, Inc. reserves the right to remove any polish that is out of stock from your order. You will not be charged for this polish. Backordered polish is not included in this promotion.

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

Yes, that’s a lot of terms and conditions.  Nevertheless, I bet you dollars to doughnuts that a lot of people won’t read them and will get angry later when their expired credit card is declined or their polish doesn’t ship for weeks.

I noticed that Zoya has not released information about the new summer collections yet and I have to say that, while I am the Queen of Impatience and want to know what they are, it’s a great idea to wait until after this Earth Day sale because there are always people who complain that the newest sets aren’t included.

Now get busy, dust off  your Zoya wish list, and be ready for this great exchange!  Need some color ideas?  Here are a few posts of mine with lots of my fave Zoya colors:  Best of 2014My Top Zoya Polishes.

Avant Pop preview from Nyx

As soon as I posted my review yesterday of some of the Prismatic Eye Shadow singles from Nyx, what should hit my inbox but news of three brand-new eye shadow palettes from the same company.

They look interesting but I’m going to wait for swatches and reviews before I seriously consider getting one, because past experience has made me wary.  Nyx has indeed become my favorite drugstore aka cheaper brand of makeup, but some of their products have been duds.  Specifically eye shadow palettes.  I’ve been baffled and saddened that while their singles (Prismatic, Matte, and others) are fantastic, their palettes I’ve tried have been terribly lacking in pigmentation.  Last year’s Dream Catcher palettes were horrible in that regard, at least the one I bought, tried, and eventually tossed.

But while everything’s new and fresh, let’s see what’s up.  There are three ten-shade palettes.

Nyx avant pop

Top to bottom:  Art Throb, Surreal My Heart, Nouveau Chic

What caught my eye first is that these are not the same all-neutral palettes that the makeup world has been drowning in for the last several years.  Don’t get me wrong — neutrals are my favorite and most-used colors for my brown eyes, but c’mon!  How many shades of brown can one person buy and use?

Even the most neutral of these three, Nouveau Chic, is not completely monochromatic.  Nyx describes these palettes thusly:

Art Throb — True blue, green with silver shimmer, pale gold, matte baby pink, white with shimmer, carrot orange with gold shimmer, metallic silver, lime green with iridescence, black with shimmer, fuchsia with pearl.

Nyx avant pop1

Surreal My Heart — Shimmery white, mint with pearl, electric lime green, light brown, taupe, opalescent light grey, cobalt blue with pearl, true matte grey, matte pale peach, matte black.

Nyx avant pop2

Nouveau Chic — Pale pink with shimmer, matte terracotta, plum with gold shimmer, opalescent lavender, gunmetal grey with shimmer, matte light beige, rose gold, matte dark brown, deep taupe, black with gold shimmer.

Nyx avant pop3

As you can read, there is a mix of matte, pearl, and shimmer shades in each set; one isn’t all matte with another all shimmer, etc.  Doesn’t look like there’s any heavy glitter.

These are currently only available on Nyx’s web site but I suspect they’ll be hitting Ulta, Target, and other stores soon.

Nyx Prismatic Eye Shadow singles

Nyx Cosmetics came out with a lot of interesting new products this spring.  I bought and swatched a few of their Intense Butter Glosses and High Voltage Lipsticks.  One of the items I was most excited to try was their new Prismatic Eye Shadows.  These are single eye shadows, not currently available in any combo or palette.

There are twelve shades which you can see at Nyx’s web site and I’ve tried five.  First I bought just one, Golden Peach, to see how I liked it.  I didn’t like it; I LOVED it.  It’s a beautiful color and the name describes it perfectly, a golden peach.  Looks great as a highlight or in the transition zone between brow bone and eye crease.

However, I can’t show you Golden Peach right now because I broke it.  And here’s the biggest caveat about these Prismatics — you cannot de-pot them or remove them from the factory packaging the way you can many other single eye shadows, and I didn’t know that when I tried to de-pot Golden Peach.  Most single eye shadows I’ve used come in a tiny metal pan within the outer packaging, so it’s theoretically possible to remove all the plastic.  Prismatics do not.  They are in a plastic mesh pan and trying to remove them is an exercise in waste and disappointment.  In other words, don’t do that!

But if you’re happy leaving your singles as singles, I highly recommend the Prismatic eye shadows.  They are a rather standard size of one inch in diameter and come in a cute little case with Nyx’s trademark “bow” clasp.  The SRP is $6.00, and while I don’t own any MAC or Urban Decay singles, swatches I’ve seen and reviews I’ve read generally say these Nyx shadows are just as good at a third the price.

All the Prismatics are shimmery metallics and they have a sheen that could be called duochrome.  While I wouldn’t go whole hog with shimmer all over my eyelids, I love them as an accent or highlight.  So which other colors did I get?

  • Fireball — a rusty orange or copper
  • Jaded — deep green
  • Punk Heart — deep plum
  • Bedroom Eyes — bronze-brown

Each pair of photos is with indirect outdoor lighting and then the flash.  Closed:

Nyx prism

Nyx prism flash

Open:

Nyx prism open

Nyx prism open flash

Light swatches on my inner arm:

Nyx prism swatches

Nyx prism swatches flash

The coverage is buildable and you can get quite a heavy look if you want.

If you’re looking for metallic shimmers with good pigmentation and a reasonable price, these are great.  I’m debating buying a couple more colors, such as the silver Tin or the gray Smoke & Mirrors.  I also hope that these are popular enough that Nyx releases more colors — would love to see a navy blue, several darker browns, and a hot pink.  Remember, Ulta often has BOGOHO sales on Nyx products!

Another desert-named collection for summer

The desert must be “in” this year.  A few weeks ago I posted about China Glaze’s upcoming Desert Escape Collection and now Color Club has announced its Desert Valley set.

Color Club Desert Valley banner

With the tag line, “Head west!  A new collection inspired by Route 66,” I think a much better name for the set would have been “Route 66,” but it’s not my company.  Considering half of the famous and historic Route 66 is not in the desert, why not?

Anyway, there are seven shades.  Actually, now that I read the names, the set also reminds me of China Glaze’s spring collection, Road Trip.  (Click on the following picture for a larger view.)

Color Club Desert Valley bottles

I dunno, kind of a hodgepodge to me.  For a desert theme, where’s the gold, the tan, the rust, the shimmer?

Polishes are $8.50 each at Color Club’s web site but a much more reasonable $3.50 each at Head2ToeBeauty.  Also worth noting is that at H2TB, the colors seem much less vibrant, which is not a bad thing.  For example, Grand Canyon looks less tangerine and I like it better.

Color Club Grand Canyon at H2TB

Overall I’m much more excited about China Glaze’s summer “desert” set and still hope to find the mini-set of six polishes.

I love a sale

I know this isn’t exactly breaking news, but just because something is half price doesn’t mean it’s junk.  To wit, the last time I was in Ulta I looked at their clearance racks more carefully than usual.  What finds!  Numerous colors of OPI and other quality nail polish, my favorite hair conditioner (Neutrogena Triple Moisture), a Revlon Lip Butter, and so on.

My local Ulta has a very small nail polish section so I think that they are constantly marking down good brands to make room for the new collections.  Today my half-price find is a color that I’d considering buying more times than I can count — Brisbane Bronze.

Brisbane Bronze is a shimmery medium bronze from an Australia-themed collection quite a few years ago.  I think it was so popular it became part of the regular line, but don’t quote me.

From what little I’ve seen and making a large leap of guesswork, I think bronze is going to be a popular color this fall.  But it’s not just for fall — looks great in the summer too.  Or any time.

The first coat was thin and streaky but the second coat covered very well.  Under indirect outdoor light, once with the fab sale price sticker and once so you can see the bottle better.

Brisbane Bronze

Brisbane Bronze 2

I know I haven’t been showing many swatches lately.  One, I haven’t had much new to parade and two, I’m doing lots of yard work this spring and my hands aren’t in the best of shape, even with wearing gloves faithfully.  You’ll note my middle finger is not shown — it’s currently sporting a Band-Aid.  A Hello Kitty Band-Aid, if you’re curious, and I know you are.

Have a great weekend!

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