Category Archives: creme

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.

Feel the Halloween Vibe

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Disclosure:  This polish was supplied by SinfulColors for review.

Happy Halloween!  Having fun yet?  Since it’s cold and has been raining nonstop for two days, I envision a dearth of trick-or-treaters tonight.  Hmmm…. what wine goes best with leftover Snickers bars?  Château de la Cacahuète, perhaps.

While I don’t do nearly the Halloween decorating and dressing up that we all did years ago when the kids were little, it’s still fun to do something.  Maybe the something for you is painting your nails.  Here’s a holiday-appropriate color, Feel the Vibe (#1214) from SinfulColors.

Feel the Vibe is a straight-up orange creme.  I’d call it a medium-dark pumpkin color, not yellowish and not neon.  I rarely wear oranges but Feel the Vibe would be a great background for nail art such as little stickers of bats, spiders, jack-o’-lantern faces, and so on.  Would also look cute with, say, a black & white glitter topper.

It took three coats for full coverage and applied smoothly and dried to a good glossy finish.

Under indirect cloudy outdoor light and with the flash, no top coat:

Feel the Vibe outd

Feel the Vibe flash

As with most oranges it makes my skin look rather ashen, but on Halloween, that’s cool.

Disclosure:  This polish was supplied by SinfulColors for review.

The Power of Positive Inking

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Quick swatch today.  Have you been taking advantage of this week’s 99-cent sale at Walgreens on SinfulColors polishes?  Hope you were smarter than I — despite my telling you to hurry down before the displays were picked over, I waited an extra day myself.  Idjit.  The selection was verrrrry limited and I didn’t get any of the newest colors.

A few weeks earlier, though, I bought a handful from the Oh Snap! Collection.  Love me some pinky-purples.  One of the cremes is called Ink Positive (#1543).

Ink Positive is a light plum or berry color, pretty any time.  It was more sheer than I prefer and I used three coats.  Thought that was OK but as I look at this photo, an additional coat or two would have been much better.  It dried quickly and very glossy.  With the camera flash:

Ink Positive flash

When I shook my bottle of Ink Positive, I couldn’t tell if there were any mixing beads in it, so perhaps that was part of the problem.  At any rate, it’s a beautiful berry color, reminds me a lot of how your fingers look when you’ve been out picking huckleberries, most of which seem to go in your mouth instead of in your gathering bucket.  And yes, I considered naming this post Huckleberry Fin… gernails.  [rim shot]

Have a great weekend!

The pumpkin stampede

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OK, Labor Day is past, the weather is fall-like in my neck of the woods (snow in nearby Glacier National Park, even!), and I’m ready to go all-out autumn.  It’s my favorite time of year and I love pulling out old sweaters, getting my orange plaid latte mug down from the cabinet, and switching out some of my usual makeup and nail polishes for deeper, warmer shades.

And I’m all about the pumpkins.  Love pumpkin flavor in just about anything — coffee, creamer, pie, muffins, cake.  Pumpkin Spice Latte, while by no means new, is HUGE this year.  Apparently it’s some annual Starbucks phenom, but I rarely go to Starbucks — not that I don’t like their wares ’cause I do, but it’s too easy to spend too much money there too often.

At any rate, remember my review of a lipstick/lip gloss duo from Walgreens-exclusive Nonie Creme Colour Prevails?  The color was called Warm Berry and I wanted to go back for the shade called Pumpkin.  SRP was $14.00, but Walgreens was having a 20% off sale on Colour Prevails so it was $11.20.  I’m fine with that price for good-quality dual product, no matter where it’s sold.

I really like that the Classic Lip Duo Lipstick/Lip Gloss has two options, a more opaque lipstick and a sheerer lip gloss.  You can wear one or the other or wear the gloss over the lipstick.  Pumpkin is a dark orange-red.

CP Pumpkin

CP Pumpkin2

Here are swatches on my inner arm, first under indirect cloudy outdoor light and then with the flash:

CP Pumpkin sw outd

CP Pumpkin sw flash

The lipstick is very pigmented and the gloss is quite sheer.  There was no scent or taste to either and wear was good.  I’d probably wear the gloss more because I prefer gloss to lipstick most of the time.  After removal both left a slight stain.

For comparisons, here are Pumpkin in the middle, Colour Prevails Warm Berry on the right, and a lipstick I got last spring from Sonia Kashuk called Nirvana on the left.  Nirvana is lighter and more of a coral nude, and Warm Berry is obviously much more of a cool plum shade.  For a price comparison, Nirvana was $11.99 and does not include a lip gloss.

CP Pumpkin comp

Comparisons for the Focus Collection from Zoya

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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.

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