Category Archives: blue

Paradise Sun comparisons

Disclosure:  The Paradise Sun Collection and many comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Hope you enjoyed the comparisons yesterday of the Island Fun set to other Zoyas.  Again today I’m using wooden craft sticks for my polish swatches instead of my tired nails.  This time, though, I coated the sticks ahead of time with a clear polish to keep the colors from bleeding or feathering.  Looks OK but I still plan to get a bunch of the clear plastic nail swatch sticks which will look better and more professional.

Here’s Paradise Sun as a set.

ParSun bottles

Left to right:

  • Aphrodite
  • Mae
  • Isa
  • Oceane
  • Selene
  • Genesis

In no particular order, here we go.

ParSun whites

ParSun whites2

No dupes here.  Genesis is an opaque white base with white shimmer, and Ginessa is a mostly clear base with silvery white glitter.  Seraphina’s not even close; it’s a light silver.  I think Ginessa could be used as a semi-sheer top coat but Genesis couldn’t, too opaque.

ParSun purples

ParSun purples2

Once again, I have to emphasize that Isa does not photograph as purple as I think it appears in person.  Here it looks just as blue as Neve and lighter, too, but it really isn’t.  Belinda is a darker purple with blue shimmer, and Hope’s not close since it has a dark pink tone.  In real life I’d say Isa is halfway between Neve and Belinda in … purpleness.  Purpleocity.  Purpleism.

ParSun blues

ParSun blues2

Here’s a good mix of shimmery blues that lean turquoise.  No dupes — Noel is more silvery, Charla is greener with glitter, and Tallulah is more blue.

ParSun teals

ParSun teals2

Teal time!  Giovanna and Selene are very, very close, with Giovanna being a hair darker.  Truthfully, if I already had Giovanna I wouldn’t get Selene too, but maybe you want every teal every made.  Zuza is way lighter, and remains one of my fave teals ever.

ParSun pinks

ParSun pinks2

Let’s look at the new Mae in the pink family.  Izzy is darker and Kimber is more red, but I find Gilda to be an almost-dupe.  Gilda may be a tad more glittery but not enough to make a huge difference in my opinion.

ParSun reds

ParSun reds2

Here’s the new Aphrodite with two older colors, Elke and Milla.  Elke is redder and more opaque but Milla is quite similar.  I think Milla has a bit more sparkle/shimmer, while Aphrodite is more of a glass fleck.  Also, Milla is discontinued.

Overall I found more near-dupes in my Zoya stash for Paradise Sun polishes.  I hope this post has been useful and fun for you, in deciding what to buy or put on your wish list.  Have a great weekend!

Disclosure:  The Paradise Sun Collection and many comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Island Fun comparisons

Disclosure:  The Island Fun Collection and many comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Confession time.  I feel lazy.  While I absolutely love making comparison posts, my nails and cuticles are not as enthusiastic.  Swatching literally dozens of polishes in the space of a few days makes them ugly and irritated, so this week I’m taking a shortcut.

Zoya’s new summer collection of cremes is called Island Fun and I reviewed the set two days ago.  Great colors!  I have quite a few older Zoya polishes to compare them to and want to show you as many as possible.  My shortcut is that I photographed the bottles and then small swatches on wooden craft sticks aka popsicle sticks.

No, it’s not exactly the same as putting them all on my nails, but believe me that the colors show just as accurately.  Yes, the polishes bleed a little on the untreated wood, some moreso than others, but it doesn’t affect the color.  I apologize in advance if this shortcut disappoints anyone.

(Note to self, really need to buy a few hundred plastic nail swatch sticks, if I can ever find ones that are sold locally and which don’t cost a fortune.)

As a reminder, here’s the Island Fun collection.

Island Fun set

Left to right:

  • Demetria
  • Nana
  • Serenity
  • Talia
  • Cecelia
  • Jace

I may have some similar colors in other brands such as OPI  or a-England but I’m only going to compare Zoyas, from fewest comps to most.

First, I’ve had several requests to compare Jace to Tilda.  Tilda is the only similar green creme I have from Zoya.

IslFun comp greens

IslFun comp greens2

Tilda is lighter and more of a lime green yet not a bright chartreuse.

In teals, I pulled out Wednesday.

IslFun comp teals

IslFun comp teals2

Wednesday is much lighter so not a dupe.

Mira is an older color, and it’s rather similar to Serenity.

IslFun comp purples

IslFun comp purples2

These two are close but Mira is darker and more of what I think of as a grape purple.  Serenity has a more blue tone.

Getting into the blues/turquoises, here is Talia with Robyn on one side and Ling on the other.

IslFun comp blues

IslFun comp blues2

No dupes here; both Robyn and Ling are more blue and less turquoise than Talia.  Ling also has a very slight periwinkle tone.

In the orange-reds, here’s a handful, literally.

IslFun comp reds

Rocha is much lighter and more orange, and Sooki is a lot more red, so I only swatched the middle three.

IslFun comp reds2

Close, but not duplicates.  Demetria seems to be right between Maura and Tamsen in color — darker than Maura but lighter than Tamsen.

And last but obviously not least, the magenta pinks.  This is almost embarrassing, I have so many that are similar!

IslFun comp pinks

I felt the need to swatch them all.  (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

IslFun comp pinks2

Wow, this is tough.  Let’s eliminate a couple first.  Dana is much lighter and Moxie is much darker.  The rest are very close, but Fergie, Reagan, and Areej are slightly more fuchsia. I would call Brie a dupe.  However, Brie is no longer available from Zoya, nor is Moxie.  I believe the others are still being produced, or you may already own one or more.

So that’s the Island Fun comp-fest.  I did not find any true dupes except Nana and Brie.

But you know what?  Overall I got a similar vibe between this new Island Fun set and the one called Summertime from 2011.

Zoya Summertime set 2011

Left to right:  Sooki, Tamsen, Kieko, Areej, Mira, and Breezi

Sure, Summertime had no green or teal or turquoise, but somehow they still reminded me of each other.  Maybe it’s the summer/all cremes theme.

Disclosure:  The Island Fun Collection and many comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Paradise Sun Collection from Zoya — full review!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

Continuing with my reviews of the new Island Fun and Paradise Sun summer collections , today we see the shimmers, Paradise Sun.  Hope you enjoyed my review yesterday of the cremes of Island Fun.

Here are the Paradise Sun polishes:

ParSun bottles

Left to right:

  • Aphrodite
  • Mae
  • Isa
  • Oceane
  • Selene
  • Genesis

The two sets compared:

ParSun and IslFun

As you can see, five of the colors in each set generally correspond, but Island Fun has a tropical green and Paradise Sun has a white.

The formula of the Paradise Sun polishes is interesting — they are not all straight shimmers; Aphrodite, Mae, and Isa have a definite glass fleck look.  I used two coats unless otherwise stated but think Aphrodite and Mae could’ve benefited from a third coat.  Photographed without a top coat under indirect sunny outdoor light.

Aphrodite is a shimmery tomato or poppy red.  Very bright.  This one is the most jelly-like of the set.

ParSun Aphrodite

Yep, definitely could’ve used a third coat.

Mae is a bright magenta pink.  It’s as loud and as brash as Mae West, don’t know if it was named for her or not.  Zoya calls it warm-toned but I’d call it cool or neutral.  Not a “girly pink,” more of a “big girl pink.”

ParSun Mae

Isa is a blue-purple that I think is stunning.  But like yesterday’s blue-purple Serenity, it photographs much more blue than it appears to be in person.  It’s purple, I tell ya, it’s PURPLE!!

ParSun Isa outd

I tried other lighting.  Here it is with the flash.

ParSun Isa flash

Still looks almost completely blue.  Here’s a shot under artificial indoor light, and while it obviously makes my skin look darker and more yellow, I think this the most accurate representation of Isa I could get.

ParSun Isa ind artif

I highly recommend your seeking out other bloggers’ photos too because they have different cameras and different lighting conditions.  I feel I’m not showing Isa at its best, and believe me, I’m loving this color.

Oceane is a turquoise or ocean blue that’s one of the more opaque shades in the set.

ParSun Oceane

Selene is a teal green, extremely shimmery and also more opaque.  Again, Zoya calls it warm but I would say it’s neutral and would flatter many skin tones.

ParSun Selene

Genesis is a crystalline white, too opaque to be used as a sheer top coat.  I used three coats and wonder if four would  have been better, or perhaps two coats over a very opaque white creme.  Funny, I didn’t think I’d like Genesis since I rarely wear white polish, but it makes my hands look tan without the sun or UV exposure of actually getting tan.   And would be a knockout on very dark skin.  The shimmer keeps it from looking like White-Out®.

ParSun Genesis

My impressions:  I love shimmers and love the saturated colors of Paradise Sun.  While they indeed look summery, most of them would be right at home the rest of the year too.  The white of Genesis and the blue-purple of Isa for winter?  Yes, please.  Teal in the fall?  Yoobetcha, especially since the color looks good with browns and warm reds.  My favorites in this set are…. all of them.  But OK, if I could only pick a few I’d grab Isa and Aphrodite — the former because I love purple and the latter because I rarely find an orange-red I love.  Aphrodite’s jelly-like formula is fun, too.

ParSun all six

Lots of comparisons coming later this week!

Zoya polishes are 5-Free — free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  Paradise Sun polishes are $9 each at .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

Island Fun Collection from Zoya — full review!

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

The new Island Fun and Paradise Sun summer collections just landed on my doorstep.  Or, as I want to call all of them together, Island Paradise Fun in the Sun!

First let’s take an in-depth look at the set of cremes, Island Fun.

Island Fun set

Left to right:

  • Demetria
  • Nana
  • Serenity
  • Talia
  • Cecelia
  • Jace

Most of them had a great formula — smooth, creamy, and glossy — and covered well with two coats.  Photographed without a top coat under indirect cloudy outdoor light.

Demetria is a vibrant poppy red; that is, a bright red with an orange tone.  Very vintage!  In the bottle and on the nail it looks more red, but next to any pink it looks quite orange.  Sometimes I think orange-reds make my skin look grayish, but I don’t get that feeling with Demetria and love it.  Rock this one when you’re lounging by the pool.  Or by the carpool.

Island Fun Demetria

Nana is a medium-dark cool raspberry pink.  This color is one of my favorites for polish in general and pinks in particular.  I never get tired of it.

Island Fun Nana

Serenity is a blue-purple, a color that many people call “blurple.”  Call it the color of irises.  It photographs more blue than it looks in person.  I wish I could convey how dusty purple it looks, but I will never artificially manipulate the color in my photos.

Island Fun Serenity

Zoya calls Talia a true turquoise.  It’s a green-toned blue, much more blue than green, but it doesn’t photograph quite as turquoise as it appears in person.  Love love love this one.  It looks summery but would be just as pretty any time of year.

Island Fun Talia

Cecelia’s the teal of the group, a blue-toned green.  I think teal is one of those rare colors that looks equally good on warm and cool skin tones.

Island Fun Cecelia

Jace is a warm tropical green, darker and more muted than lime and yellower than what I’d call a grass green.  It’s a fashionable color but I find warm greens very difficult to wear.  As Kermit the Frog sang, “It ain’t easy bein’ green.”  The formula of Jace seemed a bit thinner and more streaky than the other five.

Island Fun Jace

My impressions:  Island Fun is a great set of cremes that are modern and also have vintage shades of poppy red and raspberry pink.   My surprise favorite is Talia, the turquoise, but I love all the others too except for Jace which just doesn’t play nice on my skin tone.  What are your faves?

Island Fun six swatches

I hope to post many comparisons later this week, after I swatch and review the Paradise Fun set of shimmers.

Zoya polishes are 5-Free — free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  The Island Sun polishes are $9 each at .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

P.S.  Interesting trivia — I may live in a landlocked state, but we have islands too.  One of the most breathtaking is Wild Horse Island State Park.  ISLAND FUN!!

Seriously Citrus

The last of the three new Nicole by OPI Coca-Cola Collection polishes I bought — Seriously Citrus.  See these other posts for Zero Is My Hero and DC Lover.

When I think of “citrus,” I think of colors like yellow and orange, but in the Coca-Cola world, the citrus drinks often have a shiny green or blue can and are usually clear.  So it’s no surprise that Seriously Citrus is a clear base with glitter.  Lots of glitter — micro and small hex glitter in white, two shades of green, and two shades of blue.


This polish is more of a glitter bomb than I usually wear, but the colors just happen to be those of a favorite sports team of mine, and I may go see them play this summer, so why not?  The two colors of blue glitter in Seriously Citrus are light and medium royal, so I decided to use a base coat of dark blue.  I chose an old fave, Ibiza from Zoya.

Seriously Citrus had enough glitter that I didn’t have to fish for it, but the clear base was a little thick and so the glitter tended to bunch up at my nail tips.  Still, careful application of two coats yielded a look I love.  Under indirect bright outdoor light and then with the flash:

Seriously Citrus

Seriously Citrus flash

Using this glitter for just one accent nail is an option too.

Greetings, Earthlings

No, this isn’t going to be a tribute post to the recently-departed Leonard Nimoy, although that’s a worthy idea.

Instead it’s a swatch post of a new-to-me polish with the actual color name Greetings Earthlings.  The other day when I was in the local Kmart searching for — and finding! — the new Coca-Cola collection from Nicole by OPI, I saw a small display on an end cap of foil polishes that I’d never seen before.  I am to foil polishes as a moth to the flame.

The brand name is Bonita, and it’s an ultra-budget brand.  Not a Kmart exclusive, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.  The display of foils was quite picked over with only a few colors left, and I picked up the silvery blue Greetings Earthlings.  The bottle contains 0.4 oz/12 ml and it cost a mere $1.49, which I think was marked down from $1.99.

I’ve only just swatched it so I can’t speak to the wear time yet, but I liked the application.  The polish was thick but not too thick, and one coat was almost but not quite enough for full coverage.  No visible brushstrokes, typical for most foils.  I did think the smell was stronger than, say recent Zoyas or OPIs, but wasn’t terrible.

Under indirect bright sunshine and with the flash:

Greetings Earthlings

Greetings Earthlings flash

Wow, for a buck and a half, I’m impressed!

Live long and prosper.

Cabin Fever

Winter been too long for you?  Had too much snow?  (Boston, I’m lookin’ at you.)  Been indoors too much?

Then you have cabin fever.  Actual cabin is not required.  Cabin fever is an all-too-real phenomenon here in Montana — in the winter, days are short, nights are long, skies are often gray, and the snow is often piled upon piles.  Sometimes you feel like if you don’t get out and do something different soon you’ll go nuts.

You can only watch so much Netflix and only check Facebook a finite number of times per day.  What you need, my friends, is to get out to Cabin Fever Days!  This annual event takes place among the metropolises of Martin City, Coram, and Hungry Horse, all of which are scattered in their cultural glory throughout Badrock Canyon, the gauntlet between the wide and beautiful Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park.

Narrow Badrock Canyon gets very little sunlight in the winter and is not recommended for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (fancy schmancy name for cabin fever).  The hardy residents cope with the conditions by using various and handy aids — alcohol, trips out of state, alcohol, ice fishing, and alcohol.  Often firearms are involved.  Maybe arson.

The highlight of Cabin Fever Days is the world famous (so they tell me) BarStool Ski Races.  “It’s pretty easy to get yourself into the Barstool Ski Races. Mount some skis on something you can ride and put on a costume if the mood strikes you.”  What could be easier?  If you’re wondering about the difference between Steerable, Non-Steerable, Open, and Show Classes — and I know you are — you can read all about that too.

Need some video coaching?

[Warning:  alcohol may have been consumed by participants, judges, onlookers, and various pets.]

What does this have to do with nail polish?  Nothing.  But since I don’t have my flying barstool quite ready yet, I often combat cabin fever by playing with my nail polish and having an at-home spa day.  Here’s a new-to-me polish from Zoya, Crystal.

Crystal is from the 2010 winter/holiday collection called Fire & Ice, and man, was this set a winner!  Sarah, Tiffany, Gloria, Valerie, and Lisa were all gorgeous, not a runt in the litter.

Crystal is a clear base with tons of silvery blue and gold foil particles or microglitter.  The first coat was so sheer and streaky that I thought I’d have a hard time building up opacity but I didn’t.  Three coats, no top coat, under bright indirect outdoor light and then with the fill flash:


Crystal flash

Very wintry, but the gold sparkles keep it from being just another blue.

Now, get out and get busy!


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