Category Archives: blue

Cosmo with a Twist

Woo, got a new holiday shade to show off!  Recently — well, a month ago already… time flies when you’re waiting for your local stores to get new releases in — Canadian beauty blogger BeautyGeeks swatched the entire Starlight holiday collection from OPI, all 18 shades.  Quite a few beautiful ones there, but the only one I was dying to have was the blue-purple shimmer Cosmo With A Twist (CWAT).

Finallyfinallyfinally my Ulta got the set.  I almost bought the deep red shimmer Let Your Love Shine, picked it up and put it back twice.  Really don’t need another shimmery red, though.  I have enough to paint Santa’s workshop as it is.

Cosmo With A Twist is a sheer grape purple base with loads of blue and purple sparkles.  OPI always has such good sturdy brushes and handles, too.  The first coat was sheer and streaky, and the second was still patchy in spots so I used three.  With no top  coat under indirect cloudy outdoor light:

Cosmo waT outd

This looked more blue than I thought it appeared in person, so I moved closer to the window and snapped this:

Cosmo waT outd2

Hmmm, still looks more blue than purple but I see more purple in the bottle.  With a fill flash:

Cosmo waT flash

Ooh, aah.  Starry night sky!  I wouldn’t call CWAT a duochrome because the color does not change at different angles.

I decided to try one quick coat of my Butter London matte top coat and got this.  Indirect outdoor light:

Cosmo waT mattified

Doesn’t look super-matte but I love it anyway.

CWAT and the other OPI shades were $9.50 at Ulta, but they are having a sale of two OPIs for $16 if you’re interested.  Plus if you buy at least two you get a gift with purchase, which in my store was a little pink scarf (participation may vary).

Cosmo With A Twist isn’t the most Christmasy of colors, but when it comes to blue-purples, what can I say; I’m a pig.  I must have been deprived of blue and purple crayons in childhood.

Winter 2015 Matte Velvets from Zoya – Part 2

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Hope you saw the first part of my review of the new Matte Velvet polishes yesterday.  I hesitate to call it Part 1 since I only showed one of the polishes.  Let’s call it Part 0.5.

Today let’s look at a few more, plus some comparisons.  To review, here’s the set:

MV15 bottles

Left to right, with Zoya’s color descriptions:

  • Aspen – a sparkling arctic white with a micronized diamond pearl fleck
  • Sue – a soft champagne gold with a multi-hued oyster shell pearl fleck
  • Amal – a classic crimson red with a ruby red pearl fleck
  • Honor – a true emerald green with a tone-on-tone emerald pearl fleck
  • Yves – a deep sapphire that’s midway between indigo and royal blue with a blue pearl fleck
  • Iris – a deep amethyst with a fuchsia pearl fleck

After swatching Sue yesterday and being surprised at how light it was, I was looking forward to swatching the lightest and whitest, Aspen.  Lookie here, it’s snow in a bottle.  It applied very smoothly and despite its being white, I needed three coats, not four coats as I did yesterday and again today with Sue.  Under indirect outdoor light:

MV15 Aspen outd

I took a photo of it under the flash but it looked too washed out to post.  Usually I’m not big on pure white polishes, finding them too stark and too White-Out®-looking, but I love Aspen.  It looks so wintry and Christmas-y.  You could do some great nail art with it.

Sue on the left with two nails of Aspen, first matte with the bottle of Sue, then with a clear shiny top coat and the bottle of Aspen:

MV15 Aspen w Sue outd

MV15 Aspen w Sue top coat outd

Funny how I thought I’d love Sue more but it’s def Aspen for me!  Even compared to the pure snow white of Aspen, you can see that my Sue doesn’t look nearly as “champagne gold” as it does in Zoya’s promo pictures.  Perhaps I got an “off” bottle, which is a possibility when I also consider how unusually thin and sheer its formula was.

Moving on to a color that has no close relative in Zoya’s previous Matte Velvets (magenta, red, green, purple, dark gray, and black), let’s see Yves, the blue.  Fantastic formula and a mere two coats gave great coverage.  Remember, with mattes, several thin coats are much better than heavy ones — you want them to dry evenly and quickly for a better matte finish.  Under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

MV15 Yves outd

MV15 Yves flash

GORGEOUS!  I’m in love.  Zoya’s description of being between royal blue and indigo is spot on.  With a clear top coat:

MV15 Yves top coat outd

MV15 Yves top coat flash

I prefer Yves matte — looks more special, somehow.  Maybe ’cause I already have a boatload of shiny blue polishes.

Now let’s ponder the red Amal.  Again, very good formula and two coats were enough to cover well.  Indirect outdoor light and flash:

MV15 Amal outd

MV15 Amal flash

I thought in the bottle that it looked quite close to Posh.

MV15 Amal n Posh bottles

Uh, yeah… ya think?!?  Actually they are very close but are not complete dupes.  Amal is a bit lighter and is more of a true red or candy apple red.  Posh has a cool berry tone. Here is Posh on the left with two nails of Amal, flash:

MV15 Amal w Posh flash

With a clear shiny top coat they look even more similar:

MV15 Amal w Posh top coat flash

Both have a good formula and I can’t recommend one over the other; they’re both beautiful.  If you have Posh, are happy with it, and money is tight, the world will not end if you don’t buy Amal too.  However, if you want a beautiful matte red and never got Posh (it’s now discontinued, judging from Zoya’s site), I highly recommend Amal.  Maybe you go through red polish like nobody’s business around the holidays and want both!

Tomorrow I’ll finish up the set with the green Honor and the purple Iris.  Plus comparisons to Veruschka, Harlow, and Savita.

As always, Zoya nail polish formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.  Available NOW at and at salons and some retail outlets.  SRP $10 each.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.


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)

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:

Comparisons for the Focus Collection from Zoya

Disclosure:  The Focus Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Warning, I’m going super-lazy today with my comparisons.  My nails and cuticles need a rest from all the polish and remover I’ve been subjecting them to in the last few days so I’m using swatch sticks.  And fewer photos.  Here’s my full review of Focus if you need a refresher.

Before I get to the Focus Collection comps, though, two reader suggestions regarding the Flair set.  Click on any of the following photos for bigger views.

Flair comp7

Jinx is an older discontinued metallic from Zoya, and it’s lighter and more coppery than the new Cinnamon.

Flair comp8

Had to photograph these two at more of an angle because the bright blue shimmer confuses my camera.  Tallulah is lighter and brighter than Estelle.

Moving on to Focus, first of all I have no other Zoyas like Charli for comparison… to which I say “Thank goodness.”  I reallyreallyreally did not like that color.

I got out several older red cremes and am putting three older ones in between the new Hannah and Janel.

Focus comp1

Hannah and Sooki are practically duplicates.  Livingston and Stella are darker than Hannah but lighter than Janel.

The blue one, Sia:

Focus comp2

Sia is darker than Ling from the 2014 summer set called Tickled.

For the purple Lidia, I had almost nothing from Zoya to compare.  I don’t own Pinta but I did dig up Casey.

Focus comp3

Both are so dark that it’s difficult to see a difference.  Casey’s formula was thinner, though, and let’s look at the bottles.

Focus comp6

Well, that didn’t help much!  They’re near-dupes although Lidia’s formula is thicker and IMO better.  If you already have and like Casey I’d say you don’t need Lidia.  HOWEVER, if you look at the two on Zoya’s site, Casey is more red-toned than Lidia.  I didn’t see it in person myself; both are so dark and inky, in a good way.

Similarly, it’s hard to see a difference between the new brown Desiree and the older Louise.

Focus comp4

Focus comp5

Louise is more warm-toned and Desiree is slightly gray-toned.  Not a huge difference though.  I no longer own the brown Emilia, but that was much grayer than Louise.  Here’s my old photo under much different lighting:

Zoya Nat2 comp4

I wasn’t wowed by the Focus Collection but if you want to fill in some holes in your creme polish collection or need to replace some old colors, there ya go.

Don’t forget that Zoya announced mini sets of both the Flair and Focus Collections.  Each mini sampler is $30 and includes a free Mini Color Lock System and free shipping.

Zoya Flair Focus mini sets

Disclosure:  The Focus Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Comparisons for the Flair Collection from Zoya

Disclosure:  The Flair Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Hope you enjoyed my Flair review the other day.  Time for comps (on my newly-cut nails)!

Flair bottles

To recap, the new shimmery colors are:

Tris (ZP813) – blackened brushed nickel
Cinnamon (ZP812) – classic bronze
Aggie (ZP811) – gold liquid metal with bronze microglitter
Ember (ZP810) – fiery red
Giada (ZP809) – purple with a hint of fuchsia pearl
Estelle (ZP808) – blue liquid metal with a blackened base

Zoya’s had several dark shimmery grays in recent years:  Freja, Cassedy, Claudine, and Yuna.  I’ve never owned Freja and I did have Cassedy but gave it away.  Here is Tris compared to Yuna and Claudine.

Flair comp5

No dupes.  Claudine is neutral and was a one-coater.  Tris required three coats and like the other day, brushstrokes were a bother.  Yuna has gold flecks that, when seen against the dark gray, give it a greenish tint.  Cassedy was also greenish and I don’t care for that in a gray polish.  For more gray comps without Tris, see this older post, especially the pictures submitted by a guest reader at the end.  Very helpful!

I have nothing really close to Cinnamon in my Zoya stash.  Here’s Cinnamon along with Kalista and Cheryl, but you can see even without swatching that Cinnamon is lighter and more bronze, while the other two are darker.  Kalista has a plum tone and is still available at Zoya’s web site but Cheryl is discontinued.

Flair comp3

Aggie is also unique.  Here it is next to Ziv but they aren’t that similar.  Ziv is a straight-up light gold metallic/foil and Aggie is a multichrome with copper and green shifts.  My full review the other day showed Aggie at more angles.

Flair comp1

Ember has a slight orange tone that makes it different from true reds.  I don’t have Elisa for comparison but do have the maddeningly similarly named Lisa, along with a reader request of Knees Up from Butter London.  Both Lisa and Knees Up are darker and more cool-toned, and the latter is more glittery.

Flair comp2

I had lots of shimmery purples to pull for comparison with Giada.  While I don’t own 2012’s Suri, I do have Belinda, Hope, and Juno.

Flair comp6

Whoa.  Hope and Juno are obviously much more pink and frankly I wonder why I have both of them!  Belinda is more blue-toned than Giada and also has slight pink sparkles.  Giada seems like more of a straight purple, but again, I don’t have Suri to compare it to but feel other bloggers will do that.

Estelle just begs to be shown next to the very popular Song, also from 2012.

Flair comp4

Song is darker but is a sweet one-coater.  As you can see, Estelle is slightly lighter, and I used two coats.

Hope these pics help you to make buying decisions.  I feel Cinnamon and Aggie are unique in Zoya’s lineup, still love Ember, still don’t care for Tris, and like Giada more than I did the other day.  Estelle is a very pretty polish but I personally prefer Song.

Worth noting is that today Zoya announced mini sets of both the Flair and Focus Collections.  Each set of six minis is $30, which is slightly more expensive than buying three full-sized polishes, but you gotta remember that for any company, a lot of the cost is in the packaging.  And with either mini set, you get a free Mini Color Lock System and free shipping.  Maybe go in with a friend or relative and split the cost and polishes!

Zoya Flair Focus mini sets

Disclosure:  The Flair Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

The Focus Collection from Zoya — full review

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

I had fun swatching the shimmery Flair Collection yesterday.  Today, let’s Focus!


Charli (ZP807) – dusty taupe with a hint of green
Desiree (ZP806) – classic sable brown
Hannah (ZP805) – clear, classic red
Janel (ZP804) – deep warm red
Lidia (ZP803) – rich eggplant
Sia (ZP802) – true royal blue

All the Focus polishes are cremes.  Unless otherwise noted, all swatches are under indirect smoky outdoor light and are two coats, no top coat.

Focus bottles

Let’s get Charli out of the way first.  I’m guessing this grayish-brownish-greenish shade is considered stylish, but it’s not my style.  With apologies to Dr. Suess, I do not like it in a house.  I do not like it with a mouse.  I do not like it here or there.  I do not like it anywhere.

Focus Charli

It had a good, smooth formula, and I think if you worked in an office it could be a trendy neutral.  Bonus:  covered well in one thick coat!

Desiree is, as the description says, a sable brown.  Lovely.  Not bronze-toned, it has a slight grayish tint but is not overly grayed.

Focus Desiree

Hannah?  Bright medium red, clear and slightly warm-toned.  Excellent formula and almost but not quite a one-coater.

Focus Hannah

Janel is a brick red that doesn’t lean orange and it’s not muddy.

Focus Janel

Deep eggplant purple describes Lidia well.  It’s not blue-toned, and if I had to say it leaned a certain way I’d say slightly red or, more accurately, plum.

Focus Giada

Ooh, love it.  Dark.  Mysterious.  Inky.

Sia is a bright royal blue, and Zoya particularly warns about staining with this polish, so be sure to use a good base coat.  Blues seem especially prone to staining.

Focus Sia

Sia is such a bright blue that I think it makes my skin look yellowish.  Too bad, because it’s another one in the collection that was almost a one-coater.  Looks more summery than autumnal to me.

My favorite is the purple Lidia, and I also like Desiree and Janel a lot.  The two reds, Hannah and Janel, are pretty but not unique.  I really wish Zoya didn’t have two reds so close in color to each other in the same collection.  Couldn’t one of them have been much darker or persimmon red?  All six cremes had an excellent formula, very smooth and glossy.

Usually I take weekends off from blogging but I’m going to try to post lots of comparisons in the next few days, the new Zoyas to old Zoyas.  I don’t have every shade the company ever made, but I’ll do my best!

ZOYA IS THE HEALTHY COLOR OF FASHION!  The Focus and Flair Collections are shipping NOW!

$9 (US) Available on and at finer salons and spas.

*BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor, and is vegan-friendly.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.


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