Category Archives: blue

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

FlairEmber

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:

ZP_FLAIR_GROUP SHOT_RGB

 

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.

Whispers Collection from Zoya — comparisons

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Disclosure:  The Whispers Collection and the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

I hope my review yesterday of the new Whispers Collection, while brief, was helpful.

Whispers set

Left to right:  Cala, April, Eastyn, Misty, Ireland, and Lake

After thinking it over, I believe I should have used a third coat for several of the polishes for better results, particularly the two lightest colors, Cala and April.  Also, April has grown on me; it’s a very pretty pale rose, but I still think it would look better on someone with very light or very dark skin.

Well, let’s do some comps.  I’m reading that Whispers reminds many people of the Naturel Satins set from one year ago, and I think that too.  The finish is different; Naturel Satins was all semi-mattes and Whispers is all glossy cremes.  Also, I’ll only be comparing Zoyas.

I’m going to show old photos of the comparison polishes along with the new Whispers ones because I’ve done a major stash purge (to benefit local homeless teens) and no longer own most of these older shades.

First, Cala:

Whispers Cala

Ana from Naturel Satins:

Naturel Satins Ana

Taylor and Chantal from the original Naturel Collection:

Chantal and Taylor w Chantal bottle

Of these three comps, I think Chantal is the closest to Cala.  I liked Chantal’s formula better and thought it was much smoother.  Ana is paler, a tad pinker, and semi-matte, and Taylor is more tan.

April:

Whispers April

Brittany:

Naturel Satins Brittany

Rue:

Rue

Dot:

Awaken Dot

Brittany is very close except for its finish.  Rue is darker and more lavender.  Dot is darker (although still a very pale pink) and much peachier-toned.

Eastyn:

Whispers Eastyn

Leah:

Naturel Satins Leah

Very similar except for the finish.  Both were more gray than purple or lavender to me.

Misty:

Whispers Misty

Rowan:

Naturel Satins Rowan

Rowan was gray-taupe without Misty’s greenish tint.

Ireland:

Whispers Ireland

Sage:

Naturel Satins Sage

Tiana:

Delight Tiana

Not that close but I wanted to show them anyway.  Sage has a slight teal tone and Tiana is much brighter, kind of like lime sherbet.

Lake:

Whispers Lake

Tove:

Naturel Satins Tove

Blu, Lillian, and Kristen:

Delight comp blue b2

Tove is close although slightly more gray.  Blu is paler and chalkier, Lillian is more teal, and Kristen is only a hair darker.

Of all these comparisons, I found no true duplicates.  Nevertheless, some are very close.  Probably the most similar ones are Cala to Chantal, and Eastyn to Leah.  Remember, you can always put a satin top coat on a glossy polish or vice versa.

Did I forget any?  Ask away, and if I have pictures I’ll post them.

The Whispers Collection is available for pre-order at ZOYA.COM , and there is a sale too.  Check my review yesterday for details.

**BIG5FREE, TOXIN FREE: Zoya Nail Polish Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

Disclosure:  The Whispers Collection and the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Whispers Collection from Zoya — full review

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Disclosure:  These polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

They’re here!  Just got my media samples of the Whispers Collection.  Without further ado (’cause I’m fresh out of ado):

Whispers set

Here are Zoya’s official color descriptions:

  • Cala – ZP823: A soft nude with a kiss of warmth that will flatter most skin tones.
  • April – ZP824: A light, rosy toned neutral that is a modern take on blush.
  • Eastyn – ZP825: A subtle grayed grape that is more interesting than mauve and gives a modern alternative that is ever so wearable.
  • Misty – ZP827: An easy to wear taupe that is an updated version of gray with just a touch of green to make it daring.
  • Ireland – ZP826: A uniquely wearable green that is muted enough to make it subtle yet still interesting. This green is well balanced between blue & yellow so it’s flattering on all skin tones.
  • Lake – ZP828: A softened blue that gives the effect of serene water with just a hint of vibrancy to preserve its luminosity.

All pictures show two coats of polish with no top coat and are photographed under indirect outdoor light.

Whispers Cala

Cala is indeed nude.

Whispers April

April is rosier than Cala, but still what I’d call a neutral.

Whispers Eastyn

Eastyn, hmmm.  Looked more lavender in the bottle but appears more gray on my nails.

Whispers Misty

Misty.  Well, Zoya’s description of taupe with a grayish and greenish tint is spot on.  What to say, what to say.  We had walls painted this color when we moved into our current house.

They were the first to go.

Whispers Ireland

I’m glad they gave the name Ireland to this green.  It’s a pretty pale sage that would probably look better on warmer-toned skin but I still like it.

Whispers Lake

And Lake for the blue.  Ooh, now we’re talkin’!  I love this one, and pale blues often look chalky on me but I don’t think Lake does.  It’s rather a grayish-blue and I think it looks great.  Lake is definitely my favorite of the set.

I found the formula to be a bit thin and streaky for all six polishes.  Dry time was fast but not unusually so.

This is an appropriate set for late winter and early spring, a calm bridge between the jewel tones of winter and the brighter pastels of spring.  Will it be to everyone’s taste?  No, but then nothing is.  Frankly, this has been a hard collection to review because I feel few of the colors look good on my skin tone, and I don’t work in an office or situation where such muted neutrals would be just the ticket.  You may have lighter/darker/different skin, though, and love them.  I hope so!

I’m also prejudiced because I think the polish world in general has waaaaay overdone neutrals in the past year or two, and they are not my cup of acetone.  How similar is Whispers to last year’s Naturel Satins?  The finish is different, glossy vs. satin, and while the two collections are by no means duplicates, some of the shades are similar.  I will be posting comparisons later in the week.

AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER at ZOYA.COM

**BIG5FREE, TOXIN FREE: Zoya Nail Polish Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

But hold the phone, I mean the mouse!

Zoya is having a big sale on this set, even though it’s brand new.

unnamed

Get all six shades now at a special pre-order price of just $33, plus free shipping!  Orders will start shipping 1/15/16.  See details below and click HERE to pre-order the collection sampler.

Pre-Order the NEW Whispers Sampler
Special Price $33 (Original Price $54)
NOW – 1/3 (11:59pm EST)
Use Code: PSST

Terms & Conditions:
Valid online only at www.zoya.com through 1/03/15 (11:59pm EST).  Not valid in conjunction with other coupons, codes or promotions.  Continental US & Canada ONLY.  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 on canceled orders.  Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing if volume warrants it.

Read all the fine print and rules.  It’s a great deal but amazingly it will not work if you try to use an expired credit card, etc.

Disclosure:  These polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Dagmara

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Haven’t meant to ignore La Blog lately, but with all the holiday hoopla — shopping, mailing, cards — it has gone on the back burner.  Today, a new swatch for you.

Dagmara is one of the shades in Zoya’s Rolando Santana trio, all Satins.  I first mentioned it here and then let it drop, since it was limited edition and appeared to sell out quickly.  However, Zoya posted yesterday that it’s available again while supplies last.  To sweeten the deal you get the Naked Manicure Women’s Kit FREE + FREE Shipping.  You must use the code FLASH, and codes/coupons cannot be combined.

Here’s the trio:  Dagmara, Antoinette, and Constance:

Dagmara Antoinette Constance

The Satin finish is somewhere between glossy and matte.  You could call it semi-matte.

Today since we’re in the middle of a heavy snowfall and I felt like something wintry, I tried Dagmara.  Good news and bad news.  Good news in that only one coat covered well, and I love that.  Bad news in that it dried to an odd pebbly or textured finish, more noticeable with the flash.  I don’t know why that happened — is it the weather?  The fact that I only used one coat?  It’ll be interesting to see if Antoinette and Constance do the same thing.

Anyway, I like the color a lot.  It’s a dark blue, slightly gray.  You could call it denim.  Zoya calls it teal but I sure don’t.  Under indirect snowy outdoor light and then with the flash:

Dagmara outd

Dagmara flash

Another caveat is that it stained slightly, a common feature of blue polish, so I’d recommend a good base coat.

P.S.  You may notice that my index fingernail (left-most) is a different shape than my others.  I’ve had the squared or squared oval (squoval) shape for years now and am thinking of going back to a more rounded or oval look.  I feel squared shows polish better but as far as potential wear ‘n’ tear, I prefer a rounded shape.  I’m tired of catching the corners of my nails on things, especially my own face.  Ow.

Nail polish worship — is it wrong?

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Sky Line star

Thanks to a generous reader — you know who you are, and thank you again! — I finally have a polish that I thought I’d never see, the limited edition Sky Line from Chanel.  Sky Line came out a few years ago, I balked at the price, and I attempted several times to dupe it with some various drugstore brands.  Came close a few times but never a true dupe.  Now I have the real thing.

Sky Line is a light silvery blue frost with a periwinkle tone.  I really wish Chanel would bring it back, especially in light of yesterday’s news of the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016, the peachy pink Rose Quartz and the powder blue Serenity.  I think we’re going to see a lot of cosmetics in these colors.  (Remember, shop your stash first if you want to save money!)

Sky Line’s formula was rather sheer, and like many frosts, brushstrokes were a problem for me.  Under indirect snowy outdoor light and with the flash:

Sky Line outd

Sky Line flash

But wait!  You know what they say — when the going gets tough, the tough get out their top coats.  I’m pretty sure that’s what they say.

I tried both a clear shiny top coat and a matte one, and they both reduced the appearance of brushstrokes considerably.  The matte top coat made Sky Line look like a wintery light blue velvet.  Under indirect outdoor light, matte is on the two left-most nails and shiny is on my pinkie on the right:

Sky Line w top coats outd

YEAH, BABY!  Now we’re cookin’.

Thanks again to Generous Reader for Sky Line!  Also, a shout out to SuperDuper, who just let me know that Lancome’s I Do, Blue is a dupe for Sky Line.

 

Cosmo with a Twist

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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

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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 Zoya.com and at salons and some retail outlets.  SRP $10 each.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

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