Category Archives: black

The best polishes of 2015

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Disclosure:  The Zoya and SinfulColors polishes were previously supplied by the company for review.

I started doing a “best of the year” post last year and thought I’d do it again.  Once again, I’m only covering nail polish because I don’t think I reviewed enough makeup to have a “best of” for that.

Roll film!

Best Pink:  Cherry Blossom from SinfulColors

Cherry Blossom flash

I didn’t see as many foils this year as usual, and it’s my favorite finish.  Sparkly yet not glittery, and no brushstrokes.  Cherry Blossom’s shade of pink made me happy just to look at it.

Best Red:  Ember from Zoya


What a glowing red, nothing plain about Ember.  Excellent formula too.

Best Gold:  Date Night from Nonie Creme Color Prevails

Date Night outd

Foil.  Give me more foil.

Best Green:  Honor from Zoya

MV15 Honor outd

Honor, from the Winter MatteVelvet Collection, is obviously matte (duh) and in the photo I show it compared to Zoya’s previous Veruschka.  They were almost exact duplicates, and Veruschka is no longer available.

Best Blue:  Yves from Zoya

MV15 Yves outd

Yves is another from the Winter MatteVelvet set.  It and Honor both had a fantastic formula.

Best Lavender:  Rose Dust from SinfulColors

Rose Dust

This baby applied like a dream and was perfect for spring.

Best Purple:  Giada from Zoya

Flair Giada

I’m addicted to these shimmery, violet-toned purples.

Best Blue-Purple:  Yeah, it’s a new category for me.  I loathe the term “blurple,” which sounds like a rude digestive noise, but that’s what many people call that color in between blue and purple.  Anyway, I loved OPI’s Cosmo With A Twist.  Here it is both without and then with a matte top coat.

Cosmo waT outd2

Cosmo waT mattified

Best White, Gray, or Silver:  Aspen from Zoya

MV15 Aspen outd

Like sparkling snow!

Best Brown:  Cinnamon from Zoya

Flair Cinnamon

Best Duochrome or Multichrome:  Cabin Fever from China Glaze

Cabin Fever outd

Cabin Fever flash

Pink, copper, gold, green — Cabin Fever had it all.

Best Top Coat and Best Glitter:  Mr. Wrong from Nonie Creme Colour Prevails

ColPrev Mr. Wrong two coats

This is two coats of Mr. Wrong over a black creme.

Overall, I felt 2015 was kind of an off year for polish, even though there were many individual ones I loved.  First — and this is purely personal preference — there was a yawn-inducing, mind-numbing prevalence of sheer and/or skin-toned neutrals in the fashion world and for the most part I say BORING.  Secondly, where was the innovation, new finishes, new and exciting colors?  (That’s a rhetorical question — they were buried in mannequin-hands neutrals).

But still, the final winners of BEST POLISH:  It’s a tie between Ember and Cabin Fever, pictured above.  Ember, while “only” a red, is not plain by any stretch of the imagination.  It seems to glow with an inner light.  Cabin Fever was so interesting and different that I want to keep it as a pet in a cage and stare at it.

Picking a BEST COLLECTION of the year was difficult, as there was no one set where I loved every single color.  But the closest was the fall Flair Collection from Zoya:



Yep, I love fall and fall polishes, the rich colors, the anti-neutrals.  Hope I chose some of your favorites too.  Happy New Year!!

Disclosure:  The Zoya and SinfulColors polishes were previously supplied by the company for review.

Freefall with Zoya

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Hey, Zoya’s having another one of their great sales!  This time, a select but large group of fall shades is BOGO — buy one get one free.  So it’s a free fall.  Freefall.  Get it?  😉

Zoya free fall

Read all about ‘er:

The leaves are changing, and so should your nails! Fall in love with the colors of the season with an awesome autumn BOGO. Now you can Buy One Get One FREE on select shades from the Fall Nail Polish Page HERE, for a limited time only.

Buy Any Fall Nail Polish Shade Get One FREE*!

NOW – 11/01/15 (11:59pm EST)

How it works:
1. Add at least two (2) nail polish colors to your cart from the Fall Nail Polish Page HERE.
2. Enter code FBG into the coupon code field and press “Apply Code”.
3. Complete check out, review and submit order. Codes cannot be reinstated on canceled orders.

*Terms and Conditions
Valid for items on the Fall Nail Polish page at through 11/01/15 (11:59pm EST). Not valid in conjunction with other coupons, codes or promotions. Shipping & Handling fees apply. Continental US & Canada ONLY. Free items valid on open stock nail polish bottles only for equal or lesser value. Excludes Zoya Nail Treatments and Naked Manicure Products. Art of Beauty is not responsible for incorrect addresses, credit card entry errors, web related issues or any errors associated with declined credit cards. Returns or exchanges of promotional items not permitted. Code must be entered at time of purchase – code cannot be reinstated for canceled orders. One code per account. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing if volume warrants it.


This is awesome, so many good colors to choose from, including some of my all-time Zoya favorites:  Cinnamon, Autumn, India, and many more.  Plus Zoya has said on their Facebook page that if your order after the discount is over $20 you get free shipping.

Please note all the fine print.  You cannot combine coupons, which is nothing new.  Also let me hit you over the head with the fact that the sale is only good on the select fall shades — 65 of them! — shown on the Fall Nail Polish Page linked above.  So the new Winter Mattes are not included nor are other colors/polishes.  So of course people online are complaining.  They will only be happy when Zoya pays them to get polish.  Sheesh.

One older polish on the sale page that I’ve had for a while but not reviewed is Edyta.  It’s from the Fall 2010 Wicked Collection.  And it is kinda wicked, in a good way.  Edyta is a dark golden green foil in a blackened base, a rather unusual color.

The formula was a bit thin and the first coat was streaky.  Second coat was better with the first coat to grab on to, and the third coat gave good coverage.  Under indirect outdoor light (sorry it’s fuzzy; the light is very dark and gloomy today) and then with the flash:

Edyta outd

Edyta flash

Different!  It reminds me of Pretty Poison from CND Vinylux, but I think Edyta is more black and Pretty Poison is more green.  Now, knock yourselves out with that sale.  It’s not too early to be getting some great polish to give for the holidays, and the Fall Sale Page has lots of reds, greens, and not-just-for-fall colors.


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Yesterday I showed you some of the understated — if not downright underwhelming — sheer Naked Manicure products from Zoya.  What’s the opposite of demure?


Doing a 180 today with Interstellar (#1571) from SinfulColors.  It’s a new polish in their limited edition Truly Madly Sparkly line.  There are three polishes in this set plus an additional five that are Walgreens exclusives.  I often wait to buy SinfulColors polishes when Walgreens has a 99-cent sale, but I didn’t want to miss out on Interstellar and so paid the still-not-exorbitant price of $1.99 for a full 0.5 oz/15 mL bottle.  There are a couple of teals in the set that tempted me as well.

Interstellar is a sheer amethyst purple base packed with bright purple, blue, silver, and holo tiny glitter.  No hex glitter.  No large pieces of round glitter that “taco,” or fold up on themselves.

After I got home I found that my bottle had not been closed tightly — someone probably opened it to look at the polish — and so it was rather thick.  Still usable, however, and I can always add thinning drops later.  I put one coat of Interstellar alone on my little finger to show you how sheer it is, three coats of Interstellar alone on my ring finger, and one coat of it over a plain black creme on my middle (left-most) finger.  Under indirect bright outdoor light:

Interstellar indirect

With the flash:

Interstellar flash

These two photos show my camera’s maddening tendency to see blue-purples as mostly blue.  But Interstellar is really mostly purple.  A much more accurate color representation is visible here in direct sunlight:

Interstellar sun

You can see how sheer one coat is, and even three look patchy.  I love it over black, though.

As an aside, Interstellar is also the name of a recent scifi/dystopian movie starring Matthew McConaughey.  Makes you think.  Trailer here.  And “Truly Madly Sparkly” made me think of another film, Truly Madly Deeply from 1990.  This is one of those “be careful what you wish for” movies — heartbroken Nina cries to have her recently-deceased boyfriend Jamie back, and sure enough, he comes back as a ghost.  But he brings friends….. and won’t leave.  Trailer here.

Have a great weekend!

Black and blue (and silver, too)

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Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

More SinfulColors polishes from their back-to-school collection called Class Act!

SC Class Act

Today let’s look at three very different ones that go together better than I ever could have imagined.

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard bottles

Left to right:  Casablanca (#966, repromote), Blackboard (no number on my bottle, new), and Ice Blue (#1405, repromote)  Three polishes, three different colors, three very different finishes.

Casablanca is a bright silver chrome that was a one-coater for me.  Blackboard is a demi-matte or satin, almost a jelly.  Ice Blue is a sheer topper, periwinkle blue and silver shimmer in a sheer blue base.

Here are the polishes solo — one coat of Casablanca, two coats of Blackboard, and one coat of Ice Blue, first under indirect outdoor light and then with a fill flash:

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard outd

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard flash

You can see that brushstrokes are visible with Casablanca (typical for a chrome) and that Ice Blue is very sheer.

Let’s up the game and look at:  one coat of Ice Blue over one coat of Casablanca, one coat of Ice Blue over two coats of Blackboard, and three coats of Ice Blue alone, same lighting conditions:

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard outd2

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard flash2

Wow!   I still think Ice Blue is a bit too sheer on its own, but I LOVE it over the silver and the black, especially the black.  Ice Blue would probably also be great over dark blue, dark purple, etc.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

On the World Wide Webz:

Another duo from Colour Prevails, this one for eyes

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Disclosure:  This product was supplied by Nonie Creme Colour Prevails for review.

We’re on the last day of a whole week of reviews of Nonie Creme Colour Prevails (CP) products, a new cosmetics company that’s a Walgreens exclusive.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the lip color/liner duos, the CC creme, the nail polish, and the eye shimmer powder.

Today I’ve got another two-in-one item, the Eye Design Shadow/Liner Duo.  The packaging is identical in size and shape to the lip color/liner duos, and like that one, one end has a liner and the other a color, in this case an eye shadow.

CP eye duo

It comes completely shrink-wrapped and the ends are securely covered with clear removable caps.  Both pencils/crayons are soft and twist up, no sharpening required.

CP eye duo 1

CP eye duo 2

Sorry the inside of the liner end looks a little messy; that happened in shipment and the weather here is horribly hot.

The Eye Design Shadow/Liner Duo comes in twelve color combos; the first one is the shadow and the second is the liner:

  • Rose/Black
  • Pearl/Black
  • Wine/Black
  • Peach/Brown
  • Royal Purple/Brown
  • Nude Frost/Navy
  • Mocha/Hunter Green
  • Mocha/Purple
  • Gunmetal/Olive
  • Gunmetal/Purple
  • Silver/Grey
  • Lavender/Grey

I think it’s great that the liners come in more colors than just black or brown!  I’ve discovered it’s hard to find a good dark green liner and may get Mocha/Hunter Green.

As you can see, I received Rose/Black.  The black liner gives a very precise line and is true black, not rusty or grayed out.  The shadow is a shimmery, buildable rose pink.  On my inner arm under indirect bright outdoor light:

CP eye duo swatch

The liner applied smoothly with no tugging or skipping, and wear was excellent.  The shadow also applied softly and smoothly and had good wear with no noticeable creasing.  Both the liner and the shadow removed easily with drugstore eye makeup remover.  I have some other liner pencils that are pretty but are such a bear to remove that I don’t wear them very often.

I tried another shimmer pink eye shadow crayon before from a Korean vendor but it was such a glitter bomb that it looked silly on me and I gave it away.  You can see a swatch of it here.  In different lighting it had big flakes of almost-holographic glitter.

As with the lip duo, the SRP is $12.00 US and it would make a versatile product for your travel bag.

So, thoughts overall about Colour Prevails?  I mostly love what I’ve tried so far from the company and plan to buy more for myself.  Have a great weekend, everybody!

Disclosure:  This product was supplied by Nonie Creme Colour Prevails for review.

The Mystery Trio from Zoya

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Disclosure:  The Essie top coat used was previously supplied by Sleek Nail for review.

By now, it’s no secret what the three mystery mini polishes were that Zoya advertised in their promo a month ago because bloggers and others have been showing them for at least a week.  I only received my order today.

This promotion promised three “brand new” mystery shades in a mini size plus any three Zoya polishes (regularly $9-$10 each) all for $15 shipping.

Oh, the drama.  As soon as the mystery colors appeared, people cried foul.  Turns out they were not “brand new” but had been featured at a fashion show a year ago.  Still, they’d never been offered for sale.  Zoya said the wording of the ad was wrong and changed it.  People still complained.  Furthermore, despite very clear wording in the ad that it could take up to 5 weeks to receive the orders, people were screaming, “Where’s my order?!?” after just a week or two.

This latter issue goes under the heading of “Obtuseness on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”

Hey, I was happy to get three full-sized polishes on my wish list (Edyta, Crystal, and Ariel, gorgeous!) plus three mystery minis, all for the total price of $15.  I think it’s a good deal no matter how you look at it, but if a complainer whines in the forest and no one hears her, does she exist?

Let’s get down to swatches.  The three colors are:

  • Charlotte (my bottle says Charlott) — a yellow-putty creme
  • Anais — an almost-black with subtle shimmer
  • Severine — a silvery gold metallic

Mystery trio

They were streaky on the first coat:

Mystery trio 1 coat

You can see how Anais has a dark brown cast to it.

Good by the third coat:

Mystery trio 3 coats

Are these colors I would have picked?  No.  I think they’re kind of boring, but you know me, I would have picked a pink, a blue, and a purple — I’m predictable that way!  I probably would have been more enthusiastic about the polishes six months ago, going into fall and not into spring like now.

I already have several blacks and golds, yet still like Anais and Severine.  Charlott, eh, not my color.

But let’s dress up Charlott and Anais a bit.  Here they are with one coat of Essie’s Summit of Style:

Mystery trio w top coat

Better, much better!  Even Charlott is more wearable for me this way.

I don’t believe these polishes are available for sale from Zoya, but considering all the people complaining about them online, you may find them for trade or for sale elsewhere.  If you did receive them, what do you think, good colors or not?  Have you dressed them up with some other top coat or used them in nail art?

Disclosure:  The Essie top coat used was previously supplied by Sleek Nail for review.

The best polishes of 2014

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Disclosure:  Most of the Zoya polishes listed were supplied by the company for review.

Although I’m wrapping up my third full year of blogging — thanks to all my readers! — I’ve never done a year-end “best of” roundup but thought it would be fun to start.  I’m only going to feature nail polish, because even though I started reviewing makeup in 2014, I don’t feel I covered enough products to have a “best of” in makeup.  The polishes I’m spotlighting were mostly new in 2014, but some were merely discovered by me for the first time this year or were re-releases.

Shut up and show us the polish!,” you say.  Here goes.

Best Pink:  Dana from Zoya


This is an older creme that just makes me happy to look at.  Smooth as glass, it looks both modern and retro.

Best Red:  India from Zoya

Ignite India

India’s a dark red foil with a touch of gold sparkle that was part of the Ignite Collection.  Excellent formula.

Best Gold:  Oxford Street from SquareHue

SqH Sept14 Oxford

Yellows and golds are hard colors for me to wear successfully.  Oxford Street has a slight pumpkin tone that made it a great fall choice.

Best Orange or Copper:  Autumn from Zoya

Ignite Autumn

Yep, fall in a bottle, that’s what Autumn is.  Also from the Ignite Collection.

Best Green:  Dillon from Zoya

Awaken Dillon

Dillon, from the spring Awaken Collection, is a slightly blue-toned color that reassured me, yes, I can wear light green without making my skin look red!

I love blue polish so much that I have two awards, for light blue and dark blue.

Best Light Blue:  Rebel from Zoya

Awaken Rebel

This one is robin’s egg blue perfection, also from the Awaken Collection.

Best Dark Blue:  Remy from Zoya

Ignite Remy

Another one from the Ignite set, this marvel was a one-coater.  A little bit teal, a whole lot gorgeous.

Best Gray:  Full Steam Ahead from Butter London’s Steampunk Collection

Steampunk Full Steam

So creamy and glossy!

Best Black:  Dovima from Zoya


Dovima w tc

A matte, Dovima can also be worn with a clear shiny top coat to make it sparkle like the night sky.  A very versatile polish.

Best Purple:  Haven from Zoya

Wishes Haven outd

From the recent winter Wishes Collection, Haven is deep but with a bright flash.

Best Duochrome:  Barkers from Butter London

Steampunk Barkers flash

It’s green!  It’s purple!  It’s weirdly fascinating!  Also from the Steampunk collection.

Best Top Coat:  Pure Icicles from Pure Ice

Pure Icicles

This top coat was like playing in the snow.  It’s so much fun over a variety of colors, and had just enough sparkle and glitter.

Best Budget Color:  Rich In Heart from Sinful Colors

Rich in Heart2

A dark, vampy red, it’s blackened but not black, with some plum and brown tones.  Beautiful, stylish shade, and I got it for 99 cents, typical for a Sinful Colors sale at Walgreens.

I didn’t pick a Best Glitter because I frankly couldn’t decide.  Zoya had a lot of lovelies this year, between all their PixieDusts plus the spring Bubbly Collection.

And now, the final winners of BEST POLISH:  It’s a tie between India and Remy, pictured above.  Remy had an amazing formula, with one coat providing perfect coverage, and I love the dark teal blue.  But India is also a beautiful foil and I feel I would wear it more often since it’s red.  I love both.  And it should come as no surprise that my BEST COLLECTION of the year is….

…. Zoya’s Ignite Collection.

Zoya Entice Ignite 5

Zoya Entice Ignite 2

There wasn’t a runt in this litter.  Every single color was a great foil that was exactly what I wanted for fall.  It’s a hard act to follow!

Did I touch on some of your faves for 2014?  What would you have chosen?  Happy New Year!!

Disclosure:  Most of the Zoya polishes listed were supplied by the company for review.

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