Category Archives: red

The best polishes of 2015

Posted on

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.

Untamed

Posted on

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!

Another Mineral Fusion — Amethyst

Posted on

Some quick swatches today.  Yesterday I had my first post about the brand Mineral Fusion that I picked up at Ulta so please read that one if you’re curious about size of bottle, price, etc.  I showed the beautiful red-brown polish Brownstone.

Here’s the other MF polish I bought, Amethyst.

Amethyst bottle

Application and formula were great and most other details such as the brush are like I posted yesterday.  Amethyst, though, was a sweet one-coater.  It’s a plum-purple shimmer that’s slightly red-toned.  With no top coat and under indirect cloudy outdoor light, you don’t really see the subtle sparkle:

Amethyst outd

But you do with the flash:

Amethyst flash

I’m sure you’d also see the shimmer in bright sunlight.

A close-up:

Amethyst closeup

Gorgeous!  I love dark, inky colors like this when my nails are very short.  Fashionable without being witchy (I hope).  The one-coat advantage makes this a highly recommended polish, and now I want even more Mineral Fusions!

The last of the autumn leaves

Posted on

It’s that time of year — sunny days of autumn, complete with blue skies and bright leaves, are in the rear view mirror, and winter is saying, “Hey, remember me?”  I’m less about light jackets and more about heavy coats.  And of course, seasonal polish.  The holiday collections are calling to me but I can’t quite say goodbye to my favorite fall colors just yet.

Look here, a new-to-me brand!  Mineral Fusion is a brand that, while not exclusive to Ulta, I’ve only seen at that store.  Previously I always walked by the display without really seeing it, but a few weeks ago a big “SALE!” tag caught my eye, and I browsed the brand for the first time.

Mineral Fusion polish comes in an ovoid bottle with a tapering oval handle.  It’s not what I’d call full-size but neither is it a mini.  Each bottle contains 0.33 oz/10 mL, and the SRP is $7.99.  With the sale and a coupon, I got mine for about $4.25 each.  Mineral Fusion is 100% vegan and is 4-free; that is, free of formaldehyde, camphor, DBP, and toluene.  Here’s one of the two colors I bought, Brownstone.

Brownstone bottle

Brownstone looks copper-bronze in the bottle and I got a nice surprise when I found it looks different on my nails!  Because after I brought it home I thought, shoot, I have enough coppers.  A little buyer’s remorse, doncha know.

The brush stem and brush are good size, the oval handle is surprisingly comfortable, and the brush holds a lot of polish, almost too much for my newly-shortened nails.  Polish smell was average as was dry time.  The first coat was sheer and patchy and showed obvious tip shrinkage, but the second coat covered well.  No visible brushstrokes.

My pleasant surprise was that Brownstone is a lovely shade of dark red-brown on my nails.  Under indirect outdoor sunshine and then with the flash, dig it:

Brownstone outd

Brownstone flash

I just love this color.  Doesn’t make my skin look weirdly colored, although perhaps a bit pale.  If you did want more of a copper color, MF has one called Pretty Penny that might fit the bill.

I’d buy more Mineral Fusion polishes but probably not at full SRP, considering the smallish bottle size.  But next time they’re on sale, and armed with a handy Ulta coupon, I want to try Azurite and perhaps a berry or pink shade.  The other color I bought is the purple Amethyst — want to see it?

Winter 2015 Matte Velvets from Zoya – Part 2

Posted on

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.

The pumpkin stampede

Posted on

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

Let’s Chunky Dunk some more

Posted on

A few weeks ago I saw a four-piece set of chubby lip crayons from Nyx Cosmetics at the local Ulta.  Since I really liked the one Chunky Dunk Nyx lip crayon I’ve tried, Rum Punch, and have become enamored of lip crayons in general, I was tempted.  But I put it back and decided to think about it.

Nyx chunky set

I searched out swatches and decided that yes, worth buying.  The full name of the set is Chunky Dunk Hydrating Lippie 4 Piece Collection XOXO and it’s $14.99 in-store and online, and you can use Ulta’s coupons on it since Nyx is not a prestige brand.  With each Nyx lip crayon now having an SRP of about $6.50, a set of four full-sized ones for$14.99 works out to $3.75 each.  I was able to use a 20% off coupon which brought the price down to a fantastic $3.00 each.

The set has a good color variety; it’s not all pinks or all reds.  There’s a pink, a red, a nude/beige, and a warm brown.  All the Chunky Dunk crayons are named after drinks and these are:

  • Pink Bikini
  • Cherry Smash
  • Hibiscus Tea Punch
  • Caramel Martini

Nyx chunky set2

Nyx chunky set3

In some lights Caramel Martini looks purplish but it really isn’t.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love that these twist up and don’t require sharpening.  Trying to sharpen soft makeup crayons can bring me to tears.  Can you say, “What a mess, what a waste!”???

Here are some quick swatches on my inner arm, under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash.

Nyx chunky swatch outd

Nyx chunky swatch flash

In the second swatch picture, the two darker colors appear to settle into the fine lines, but I don’t see that at all on my lips which are much darker/redder than my very pale inner arm skin.

On my lips these feel very light and moisturizing, not dry at all, with no scent or taste.  These are basically gloss crayons and are not heavy opaque lipsticks.  They’re for when you want a sheer wash of color that’s not drying.  Can’t wait to wear Caramel Martini with some fall sweaters!

%d bloggers like this: