Category Archives: foil

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


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:



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.

Freefall with Zoya

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Hey, Zoya’s having another one of their great sales!  This time, a select but large group of fall shades is BOGO — buy one get one free.  So it’s a free fall.  Freefall.  Get it?  😉

Zoya free fall

Read all about ‘er:

The leaves are changing, and so should your nails! Fall in love with the colors of the season with an awesome autumn BOGO. Now you can Buy One Get One FREE on select shades from the Fall Nail Polish Page HERE, for a limited time only.

Buy Any Fall Nail Polish Shade Get One FREE*!

NOW – 11/01/15 (11:59pm EST)

How it works:
1. Add at least two (2) nail polish colors to your cart from the Fall Nail Polish Page HERE.
2. Enter code FBG into the coupon code field and press “Apply Code”.
3. Complete check out, review and submit order. Codes cannot be reinstated on canceled orders.

*Terms and Conditions
Valid for items on the Fall Nail Polish page at through 11/01/15 (11:59pm EST). Not valid in conjunction with other coupons, codes or promotions. Shipping & Handling fees apply. Continental US & Canada ONLY. Free items valid on open stock nail polish bottles only for equal or lesser value. Excludes Zoya Nail Treatments and Naked Manicure Products. 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 for canceled orders. One code per account. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing if volume warrants it.


This is awesome, so many good colors to choose from, including some of my all-time Zoya favorites:  Cinnamon, Autumn, India, and many more.  Plus Zoya has said on their Facebook page that if your order after the discount is over $20 you get free shipping.

Please note all the fine print.  You cannot combine coupons, which is nothing new.  Also let me hit you over the head with the fact that the sale is only good on the select fall shades — 65 of them! — shown on the Fall Nail Polish Page linked above.  So the new Winter Mattes are not included nor are other colors/polishes.  So of course people online are complaining.  They will only be happy when Zoya pays them to get polish.  Sheesh.

One older polish on the sale page that I’ve had for a while but not reviewed is Edyta.  It’s from the Fall 2010 Wicked Collection.  And it is kinda wicked, in a good way.  Edyta is a dark golden green foil in a blackened base, a rather unusual color.

The formula was a bit thin and the first coat was streaky.  Second coat was better with the first coat to grab on to, and the third coat gave good coverage.  Under indirect outdoor light (sorry it’s fuzzy; the light is very dark and gloomy today) and then with the flash:

Edyta outd

Edyta flash

Different!  It reminds me of Pretty Poison from CND Vinylux, but I think Edyta is more black and Pretty Poison is more green.  Now, knock yourselves out with that sale.  It’s not too early to be getting some great polish to give for the holidays, and the Fall Sale Page has lots of reds, greens, and not-just-for-fall colors.

Why yes. Yes, I wood.

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Geeky madness here.  My favorite (currently only, as well) MMORPG is having a beta weekend starting now to test its new expansion pack, and I’m nerdily anxious to play.  So you get a short post from me.  But a good one!

China Glaze’s fall collection, The Great Outdoors, had me all excited when it was first announced.  As time went on and swatches appeared, my enthusiasm dimmed which is actually good for my wallet.  There was one shade, though, that I just had to have.  Wood You Wanna? is a silvery gray-purple-brown foil.

I love brown polishes yet am picky about them.  Don’t like them looking like dirt or…. other organic matter, if ya know what I mean.  A good way to avoid this with browns is to get a shimmer, foil, or glitter instead of a plain creme.

Ulta is currently having a BOGO sale on all China Glaze (CG) polishes, good through tomorrow, Saturday.  New releases are included.  That’s buy one get one free, a rare sale these days; usually things are buy one get one half off.  So two CGs that normally cost $7.50 each are $3.75 each.  ♪ ♫ Awwwwe-some! ♫ ♪

Wood You Wanna? applied extremely smoothly and gave good coverage in one coat.  Yes, it’s that rare bird, a one-coat wonder.  It also dried very shiny.  Under indirect bright outdoor light, with the flash, and under artificial indoor light:

Wood U outd

Wood U flash

Wood U ind

I love this polish.  LOVE IT.  Right up my alley for fall, and it’s a brown that looks good on my cool-toned skin.  Oh, and it begs a comparison to another new fall color I reviewed, Frock ‘n Roll from Essie.

Wood U comp

Not dupes.  Wood You Wanna? is more brown and silver, and Frock ‘n Roll is more purple.  I like both.

Have a great weekend!

A mini review of the OPI Coca-Cola 100th Anniversary mini set

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I’ve been buying quite a few mini bottles of polish lately.   I don’t often want to get those but, hey, maybe I’m developing a fear of commitment.  Mini bottles, especially micro mini bottles = a very short-term relationship.

The OPI Coca-Cola 100th Anniversary mini set caught my eye months ago, since the two new colors looked interesting and I never got last year’s OPI Coca-Cola set.

I have to admit I don’t know what the official name of this set is.  Everybody calls it something different.  The box says “100 Years of the Coca-Cola Bottle  OPI” on the front and “Icons of Happiness” on the top flap.  If you only saw the back of the box on a store shelf, you’d see “The Perfect Ten.”  So let’s call it The Perfect Ten Icons of Happiness of 100 Years of the Coca-Cola Bottle.”

On second thought, let’s not.  It’s the Coke Bottle set.

The box is cute, about 7 inches square, with an attention-grabbing cover.

OPI 100 box

There’s a flap that opens to reveal (click for a larger view)…

OPI 100 box open

The back:

OPI 100 box back

Polishes are:

  • You’re So Vain-illa (re-promote)
  • Visions of Georgia Green (new)
  • Centennial Celebration (new)
  • Coca-Cola Red (re-promote)
  • Nail Envy (clear base coat and nail strengthener)
  • My Signature is DC (re-promote)
  • Sorry I’m Fizzy Today (re-promote)
  • Get Cherried Away (re-promote)
  • A Grape Affair (re-promote)
  • OPI Top Coat (clear top coat)

The bottles are micro minis and contain 0.125 oz/3.75 mL.

First row:

OPI 100 first row

Second row:

OPI 100 second row

I’m only going to swatch the two new colors, because the re-issues have been extensively reviewed elsewhere on hands prettier than mine, and I’m not sure if I’m going to keep the bottles or give them as mini gifts.  For great reviews of the first collection, see The PolishAholic or Vampy Varnish.  This second set has six of the nine polishes from the first set.  Oh, and don’t mix any of them up with the Coca-Cola set from Nicole by OPI!  Confused yet?  Let’s proceed.

Visions of Georgia Green is an extremely sheer and shimmery green and purple duochrome.  “Georgia Green” is the name of the color of the original Coca-Cola bottle, a translucent green, so I shouldn’t have been surprised at the sheerness but I was.  I wanted an opaque shimmer.  Ain’t happening.  Here is one coat:

OPI 100 GG one coat

And four coats…

OPI 100 GG four coats

… at which point I said to myself, “Alack and alas.  I am quite chagrined at the lack of opacity.”   ……..  Actually what I said to myself was, ” **** this *** !”

It’s a pretty duochrome but is obviously meant to be worn  over another color, unless you want a mere hint of sheer color.  Next time I’ll try it over an opaque black, green, or purple.

Centennial Celebration is more like it.  A silver foil with a strong golden tone, I think it’s beautiful.  You know me, I love silver foils, but they often look exactly alike (see My Signature is DC in this very set).  Centennial Celebration is a nice change; you could even say it has a faint green or pewter tone.  Three coats:

OPI 100 CC

This set was $16.45 plus shipping at and available elsewhere as well.

Meet Me In the Mirage (but do it before Happy Hour!)

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Fortunately, UPS delivered my box today from Sally Beauty Supply containing my 6-piece mini kit of the new China Glaze Desert Escape polishes.

Unfortunately, the box had been crushed and bore a large sticker that said “UPS Repack Carton” and it bulged oddly.

Fortunately, upon opening it, the actual bottles and polishes were unharmed although the China Glaze packaging itself was smooshed (technical term).

Desert Escape box

Desert Escape bottles

Unfortunately, it’s getting late in the day and I don’t have a lot of time, since I’m going out shortly for a brewski in the warm early summer weather.

Fortunately, I had time to swatch one of the colors.  I picked the one that’s generated the most comments and the one I was most excited about, the foil Meet Me In the Mirage (MMItM).  I’d previously referred to it as a “rose gold,” but there’s no gold in it.

I’m a sucker for foils like this.  MMItM is a happy medium between a warm rosy brown and silver.  It applied well but for some reason had a very strong smell; perhaps because my box had been sitting in a hot UPS truck for who knows how long.  The bottle is tiny and the brush stem is very short but the actual brush is of average size so application wasn’t difficult.

Two coats, no top coat, under indirect bright outdoor light and then with the flash:

Desert Escape MMItM

Desert Escape MMItM2

Boy, it practically glows.  I love it.

This is a “micro mini” set; that is, the bottles are about one-fourth the size of a full-sized bottle.  Full size is usually 0.5 oz/15 mL and these are 0.125 oz/3.6 mL.  That’s fine — it gives you a chance to try all the colors and get a couple of manis from each one if you choose.  Also, if there’s one you love you can buy a bigger bottle of that one color, which I plan to do with Meet Me In the Mirage.  I’ll be swatching the rest of these polishes next week and am already quite happy I bought the set.

I quickly pulled a few polishes from my stash that I thought might be close:  OPI’s Brisbane Bronze, OPI’s limited edition from years ago Warm & Fozzie, and Orly’s Rage.  They are not dupes and only Rage is close, but Rage is lighter and pinker.

Desert Escape MMItM comps

I’ve only seen this micro mini set at Sally’s web site where it’s $12.99 plus shipping (and by the way, the actual polish colors are much more vibrant than how they appear on this link).  You may be able to find it in a Sally’s store.  Numerous e-tailers have the full-sized bottles and some have trio art kits.

Have a great weekend.  I hear the pub calling me!

Greetings, Earthlings

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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

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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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