Category Archives: gold

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.

More Jumbo Eye Pencils from Nyx

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Haven’t swatched any makeup in quite a while, but today I have two more Jumbo Eye Pencils from Nyx Cosmetics.  For other shades in this line, see my reviews of  Rust, French Fries, and Knight.

Here are two lighter colors that I like as browbone highlighters although of course you can wear them however you want.  Pots & Pans #6o3 is a shimmery silver and Sparkle Nude #625 is a peach-gold with a few glittery flakes.

2 nyx pencils closed

2 nyx pencils open

Swatched on my inner arm, under indirect cloudy outdoor light, with the flash, and under artificial indoor light:

2 nyx pencils outd

2 nyx pencils flash

2 nyx pencils artificial light

I think the second photo is the most accurate to my eye.

While I don’t think these colors will make anyone say, “Wow!,” I like them used lightly for a bit of shimmer.   I would not pave my eyelids from lashes to brows with them.  Funny, I thought I’d love Pots & Pans better but I actually reach for Sparkle Nude a lot more.

Like the other Jumbo Eye Pencils, these apply smoothly without tugging, and stay put until I take them off with eye makeup remover.  They come right off and do not have to be scrubbed off, sacrificing precious eyelashes in the process.  The only drawback is that they are not twist-up and have to be sharpened.

The SRP is a budget-friendly $4.50 and these can often be found on sale.  In fact, they are BOGOHO (buy one get one half off) at Ulta right now.


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No, I’m not talking about today’s Black Friday stampedes.  I’m skipping that brouhaha again this year and am more into Small Business Saturday and CyberMonday.

Untamed is a relatively new polish from Revlon and comes in the old style “bell” bottle.  It’s rather complex — at first I thought it was brown but found it to be a blackened base full of gold and dark pink shimmer, along with some larger, irregularly-shaped pieces of gold glitter.  Together, those colors give a plummy bronze look.

My bottle of Untamed had horribly thick polish that was very difficult to use.  Since I’ve never had a problem with Revlon in the years I’ve been using the brand, I suspect my bottle was opened in the store and not closed properly.  Some thinning drops, which I always keep on hand, will fix that.

I picked up Untamed at Ulta, where it was $5.99 but there was either a BOGO sale or BOGOHO sale going on so I got it for less.  Revlon is of course widely available at big box stores, drugstores, and probably your local bar ‘n’ grill; it’s that popular.  The bottle is full-sized and contains 0.5 oz/14.7 mL.

Two coats covered very well although I had the thickness problem mentioned above.  Under very gloomy outdoor light and then with the flash:

Untamed outd

(Sorry that’s blurry; the light really is dim today.)

Untamed flash

You can see that with the flash it appears darker and more brown compared to the daylight view, where I see more pink and gold.

I decided to mattify Untamed for comparison.  Here it is on my ring and little fingers (two right-most) with two coats of Butter London Matte Top Coat.

Untamed w 2 matte outd

I think I like it mattified better.  Gives it kind of a leather look, in a good way.

Have a great weekend!

I’m Trifling with you

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Trifle — it’s a rich dessert (Google images of “English trifle dessert” and gain virtual weight with me).  It can mean something of little value or something small.  It can be a verb, meaning to treat someone or something with little or no respect.

But it’s a polish too, one from Butter London.  And since they go with Brit-speak I’ll guess they mean the dessert.  Maybe one like this:

Chocolate Trifle

Photo via Taste of Home.  Recipe HERE.  You’ll want a special trifle bowl.

Trifle the polish is on BL’s web site but is listed as “On Holiday” which is a nice way of saying out of stock or discontinued, don’t know which.  It came out in the Spring 2014 Collection called Boho Rock, and I kept meaning to get it but when I remembered to look for it in person, it was sold out.  Then I frankly forgot about it.  And since BL’s price increase to $15 per 0.4 oz/11 ml bottle, I rarely buy their products any more.

One of The Silver Nail’s readers to the rescue!  Someone — and I’m sorry I can’t remember your name, feel free to jump-start my memory — commented that discount stores TJMaxx and/or Ross sometimes have BL polishes at great savings.  Lo and behold the last time I went to TJMaxx I checked, and sure enough, there were a handful of BL colors at $4.99 each.  They had one bottle of Trifle and I snatched it.

Trifle is a golden bronze metallic shimmer in a plum base.  Really beautiful for fall.  It applied well, with an average polish smell, and I needed three coats.  Brushstrokes were slightly problematic but not terrible.  Here under indirect cloudy outdoor light and with the flash, no top coat.  There is just one coat of Trifle on my little (right-most) finger so you can see the plum base.

Trifle outd

Trifle flash

Trifle begs comparison to BL’s own Brown Sugar, which is also a bronze in a plum base.  Brown Sugar, though, is more glittery and pink-toned.  Same lighting with Brown Sugar on my index (left-most) finger.

Trifle w BrSug outd

Trifle w BrSug flash

Butter London really does brown polishes well.  Scuppered, as I’ve mentioned tirelessly, is one of my favorite browns ever.  The glints of green and pink are unexpected and so pretty.  Unfortunately, Scuppered is loooong gone.  Here are my BL bronzes and browns; click on the photo for a larger view.

BL browns

Hmmm, I may have a slight hoarding problem….

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.

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

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

The first of Zoya’s Winter 2015 Matte Velvets!

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Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

I was slobberingly following the FedEx progress of my Winter 2015 Matte Velvet Collection media samples from Zoya.  They arrived too late today for me to do a complete review, but I had to show you at least one!

Here’s the whole set.  Note the pretty frosted glass bottles.  That way, you can tell at a glance which of your Zoya polishes are matte or satin versus the usual cremes, shimmers, and glitters.

MV15 bottles

Left to right, with Zoya’s official 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

I was most anxious to get my mitts on Sue, partly for the color and partly for the name.  Zoya has had a Suzanne in the past (now discontinued), and between that and Sue, that’s the closest I’m going to get to my real name of Susan.  Here’s Zoya’s picture of Sue in action:

Zoya winter mattes Sue

A lovely shade of champagne gold, isn’t it?  Yet when I opened my box of six polishes, at first I thought I’d been sent two of the white Aspen by mistake.  My bottle of Sue is very light; I’d call it an ultra-pale grayed gold or a white gold.  Beautiful, just not what I was expecting.

Sue had no particular smell, to which I say “Thank goodness.”  Some mattes smell terrible, but not Zoya’s Matte Velvets.  The formula was very smooth and good but I needed four coats because after three I could still see my nail line.  This is fairly common with such light shades; I expect the darker ones to only need two or three.  The polish self-leveled well and brushstrokes were not an issue.

Under indirect cloudy outdoor light and then with the flash:

MV15 Sue outd

MV15 Sue flash

I apologize for the tighter-than-usual cropping on my photos but I have a bad cut on my middle finger, and trust me, you don’t want to see it.

You can see that my swatches appear much lighter than the Zoya promo pic.  Sadness.  But wait!  Perhaps I could put a coat or two of Sue over a darker gold creme another time.  Sue is still a very pretty shade, just a bit surprising.  I do like that it looks quite wintry and classy — would be perfect for New Year’s Eve.

The point of wearing a matte polish is to have it look, well, MATTE, but as I always say, you can play with it however you want.  Putting a clear shiny top coat over Sue, same lighting conditions:

MV15 Sue top coat outd

MV15 Sue top coat flash

Wow, that really brings out the sparkle!  It’s hard to tell from these pictures, but “oyster shell pearl fleck” is a great description — there are very tiny flecks of shell pink and blue.

I don’t have any dupes for Sue.  The closest I have is another Zoya polish I loved, the PixieDust called Tomoko.  PixieDusts, however, have a textured, sand-like finish, and even the pale Tomoko is more gold than Sue.


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.

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