Category Archives: blue

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.

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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!

ZP_FOCUS_GROUP SHOT_RGB

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 Zoya.com 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.

The Flair Collection from Zoya — full review

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

The Focus and Flair Collections are out!  Due to popular demand, I’ll be swatching the metallic set, Flair, first.

ZP_FLAIR_GROUP SHOT_RGB

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

Flair bottles

I’m having a hard time swatching this week — temps are soaring, humidity is plummeting, and the outdoor ambient light is yellowish due to smoke from nearby wildfires.  I had to stop and try again at a different time.  For all polishes unless otherwise noted, I used two coats with no top coat and each color is shown under indirect outdoor light.

Tris is indeed a dark nickel gray.  I think I see a slight greenish cast.  Zoya calls it cool-toned but I think it’s a neutral.  It was sheerer than I expected and required three coats, which led to a slight problem with brushstrokes.

Flair Tris

It’s OK, not crazy about it.

Cinnamon, oh Cinnamon.  How I love thee.  It’s a molten brown-bronze and is one of those polishes where, once I’m wearing it, I keep holding my hand out at arm’s length and admiring the color.

Flair Cinnamon

Wouldn’t this look gorgeous if you were wearing, say, a loden green sweater or an orange-red jacket?  Brushstrokes were a bit problematic but I feel the trouble was with the weather and not the polish.  When I got to my last swatches late yesterday it seemed as if polish was drying as soon as I touched my nails.

Aggie is quite the unusual one.  While I expected a duochrome look from the promo bottle shot, it’s even more than that.  Aggie seems to have a sheer dark grayish base that makes the polish much more than gold.  It’s gold at some angles, coppery at others, and has a dusty blue-green sheen at others.

Flair Aggie 1

 

Flair Aggie 2

Can you see the glints of copper?

Flair Aggie 3

At first I couldn’t even decide if I liked Aggie or not, and then I decided that yes I do.  It’s refreshingly different, not — I repeat NOT — the world’s umpteenth dupe of Chanel’s Peridot.  In 2012 everybody was trying to dupe that one.  Here’s an OPI I had that was a Peridot dupe and you can see they’re very different; Aggie is more of a bronze-gold and much less green.

Ember is a great name for this glowing red shimmer.  I think it’s warm-toned and is slightly but not overtly orange-ish.  Like, you know, embers.  Definitely not a plain red.  It seemed to have a particularly smooth formula.  I am SO wearing this with a denim shirt!

FlairEmber

It looks like I have an extra light shining on Ember but I don’t.  Call this baby Rudolph, ’cause you could even say it glows!

Giada is a very dark cool-toned purple, not blackened but with a fuchsia shimmer.  It was almost but not quite a one-coater.

Flair Giada

Zoya calls Estelle “blue on blue,” which us oldies may remember as the name of a Bobby Vinton song.  No heartache on heartache with Estelle, though.  I thought I’d need three coats because the first one was so sheer, but two were enough.  By the way, did you know Vinton recorded an entire album of blue-themed songs?  The super-popular “Blue Velvet” came from that album too.

Flair Estelle

My surprise favorite in the Flair Collection is Ember, and I also love Cinnamon and Aggie.

My recommendations?  Pick what you love.  Hoped I’d love Cinnamon and I did.  Didn’t think I’d love Ember but I did.  Giada and Estelle are beautiful but I feel I have several polishes that are dupes or nearly so, but if you don’t have any that are close I highly recommend them.  Aggie’s the kooky cousin that comes to visit — some people don’t know what to think of her but you love her ’cause she’s stylish and different.  Tris is not my cup of tea.

The Focus Collection review will be up tomorrow, hopefully, and I will continue through the weekend with comparison posts.  Want me to compare certain other Zoyas to Focus and Flair?  Just ask!

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

$9 (US) Available on Zoya.com 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.

A cool sale and a S-Cool polish

Disclosure:  This polish and one comparison polish were provided by SinfulColors for review.  One comparison polish was supplied previously by Zoya for review.

I’ve got a quick Sunday swatch for you, and want to let you know about a great sale.

Walgreens is having its wonderful 99-cent sale on SinfulColors polishes again!  I was surprised to see that in their Sunday flier this morning, since they just had this sale a few weeks ago.  But we’ll take it; am I right?  Before you head out to stock up I wanted to show you one more color from their Class Act  collection.  I’ve swatched a demi-matte and a glitter topper from the collection, plus a great shimmer.

Summer S-Cool is a new creme and I was excited to get this one.  Seems like SinfulColors does a good job with blues and teals.  Summer S-Cool had a better than average formula and covered well in two coats.  Under indirect bright sunlight and then the flash:

Summer S-cool

Summer S-cool flash

Great color for all the summer that’s left, or for back-to-school, whatever you choose.  Comparisons?  But of course.

Summer S-cool comps

Summer S-Cool is more blue than SinfulColors’ very popular Mint Apple, and it’s lighter and less shimmery than the recent Sky Tree.

If you want to hit the Walgreens 99-cent sale and wonder what are some of my other favorite SinfulColors polishes, just use the search box to the right and put in Sinful.  That’ll bring up lots of posts.  These sales tend to be very popular and the polishes get picked over quickly, so I’m heading over in the morning.  Today would be even better.  Happy weekend!

Disclosure:  This polish and one comparison polish were provided by SinfulColors for review.  One comparison polish was supplied previously by Zoya for review.

SinfulColors online:

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

EDIT:  Update with another comparison.  Summer S-Cool compared to Zoya’s Rocky.  Rocky is darker and bluer, Summer S-Cool is lighter and has a slight teal tone.

Summer S-cool comps2

Having a Blast with SinfulColors

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

Wanted to get this review up ASAP today, because it’s the last day to take advantage of Walgreens’ 99-cent sale on SinfulColors polishes.  Have you gotten some good ones?

SinfulColors has a small set for summer called Having a Blast.  At first glance it looks mostly 4th of July, but it could also be for Canada Day (July 1st) with its red and white, and there’s one polish that’s very beachy.  These are all re-promotes except I believe the red, white, and blue glitter called Star Blast Off is new, as my bottle has no number or bar code.  Still, SinfulColors usually has a similar glitter polish every summer.

SC Blast bottles

Left to right:

  • Ruby Ruby #369
  • Snow Me White #101
  • Hot Spot #943
  • Out of This World #842
  • Star Blast Off
  • Green Ocean #220

Ruby Ruby needs no introduction from me, as I liked it so much I already bought it two years ago!  My full review is here and here’s a photo again.  It’s a great true red creme, a classic.

Ruby Ruby flash

Snow Me White is a plain white creme, and I’ve found similar polishes problematic in the past, too streaky or patchy.  Snow Me White was neither of those things, had a good formula, and covered well in two coats.

Out of This World looks like a white shimmer in the bottle but is more of a silver-white.  It’s more sheer than Snow Me White and I used three coats but could still see my nail line, so I think it’s supposed to be a sparkly top coat.

All my photos today are with the camera flash.  Out of This World and Snow Me White with the bottle of Snow Me White:

SC Blast silver white

Hot Spot is an inky blue shimmer.  Two coats:

SC Blast blue

Star Blast Off, as I’ve said, is a red, white, and blue glitter in a clear base.  As with my bottle of Mamasita in the Street Fusion set, though, the base in Star Blast Off had turned a pale pink, even more so than my bottle of Mamasita.  I think the red glitter bled due to the hot weather in shipment but I can’t be sure.  Mamasita is also red, white, and blue, but Star Blast Off has large stars in it.

You have to fish for the stars with the brush, which is not difficult.  The stars are so big that they don’t lie flat to the curve of my nails, but a little extra clear base of the polish over them would help.

SC Blast glitter

I tried Star Blast Off over Snow Me White but didn’t like it due to (a) the pink-tinted base and (b) none of the white glitter showed up.  I like it over the dark blue Hot Spot.

Finally, Green Ocean is a very pale green sheer base with blue-green metallic glitter and tiny shards.  It really does give an ocean or mermaid look.  Also over Hot Spot:

SC Blast ocean

I like all these polishes and Hot Spot, the dark blue, is probably my fave.  It would be fun to experiment with Out of This World and Green Ocean over other colors, too.

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Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

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