Category Archives: white

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.

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.

Having a Blast with SinfulColors

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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.

SinfulColors does all that internet stuff:

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

Confessions of a One Night Stand, plus a Muppets fail

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I’ve been meaning to buy a peel-off base coat for easy glitter polish removal ever since I first heard about OPI’s Glitter Off.  But I could never find it in person, and every time I meant to order it online either the site was out of stock or I just plain forgot about it.

Finally, the stars aligned and not only did I remember to order it, but the site I was browsing had both OPI’s Glitter Off and Orly’s One Night Stand.  From reviews I’ve read, they seem the same so I picked the Orly.  Love that big cushy concave handle!

Orly One Night Stand box front

I ordered it from LA Lacquer here, and while I was pleased with the price and my overall order, I find their web site difficult to navigate.  You pretty much need to know exactly what you’re looking for; at least, that’s been my experience.  One Night Stand (ONS) was $6.40 there and you get a good-sized 0.6 oz/18 mL bottle.  The SRP is $10.

Apparently people have been making their own peel-off base coats for a long time, using diluted white (school) glue and water.  I didn’t want to mess with that and would rather be lazy and let someone else mix it up for me and put it in a nice bottle with a good brush.

The ingredients for ONS are not listed on the box, but the base coat looks and smells exactly like diluted white glue.  Really.  I thought I read the ingredients list months ago somewhere online but can’t find it now, and I may be thinking of the OPI product.  Instructions are listed in English, French, and Spanish.

Orly One Night Stand box back

The box states clearly that this base coat is only meant to last for one or two days, and then you peel off the base plus glitter in one easy, non-damaging piece.  I’m fine with the time frame, as I only like to wear the same polish for a couple of days anyway.  I think I will wear glitter polishes more often now that I don’t have to practically hack it off with a mallet and chisel.  Hated that.  Called it FOR — Fear of Removal.

ONS applies easily.  A thin coat goes on looking milky and then dries quickly to almost clear.  I don’t know if a bath or shower would make it come off unintentionally.

I decided to try it with a new glitter I bought, one I’d been wanting for a while.  (Story of my polish life — wanted it, saw it in the store, figured I’d go back and get it, when I did go back it was sold out, tried to find it online, blah blah blah.)  Remember the OPI Muppets movie tie-in collection from last year, Muppets Most Wanted?  The only one in the set that appealed to me was the glitter Muppets World Tour.

Every swatch and photo I saw of it showed various sizes of white and gold glitter in a clear base along with pretty pops of color in the form of bright blue and bright pink glitter, plus a little bit of peach-colored glitter.  Here are wonderful photos in a review by Nail That Accent which will show you exactly what I mean.  Best photo HERE.

But my bottle did not look like that.  It had the white, the gold, the peach, and the blue glitter, but there was no bright pink glitter.  Zero.  Nada.  None.  Rien.

I don’t know what happened.  Since the collection was limited edition and came out well over a year ago, I assume my bottle is old so perhaps the pink wasn’t stable and faded to nothingness.  Maybe OPI changed the formula.  Maybe I just got a weird bottle, since one other strange thing is that the brush in this is HUGE.  It’s far and away the heaviest, thickest brush I’ve ever seen in an OPI bottle, and I’ve used quite a few.  Weird.

(Edit:  Upon reading reviews of this polish at Amazon, about half the people said their bottle had no pink either.  So it’s an OPI fail, certainly no fault of LA Lacquer or other retailer.  If you want this polish I recommend trying to see a picture of the actual bottle you’re buying if you can’t get it in person.)

Here are two coats of Muppets World Tour over One Night Stand, with no other base color and no top coat, with the flash:

Muppets World Tour flash

It’s still a pretty polish, just not what I wanted nor was expecting.  It’s no tragedy and I merely plan to find a polish in my stash that has bright pink glitter in a clear base and add that to Muppets World Tour.

And, yes, with One Night Stand, it peeled right off.  Now I can face the world of glitter polish without worrying in advance about spending ages trying to get it off.  😀


Update:  Found the PERFECT polish to add to MWT for the original look that included hot pink glitter!  And it’s cheap, too — Jordana’s 01-Magenta Magic, got it at KMart for $1.99.  Thought I’d never find just bright pink glitter, although I found a lot of light pink glitter, red glitter, hot pink mixed in with green or purple or something else.  Anyway, I poured out a little bit of MWT and added a small amount of Magenta Magic.  You don’t need much and I think it looks perfect.

Paradise Sun comparisons

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Disclosure:  The Paradise Sun Collection and many comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Hope you enjoyed the comparisons yesterday of the Island Fun set to other Zoyas.  Again today I’m using wooden craft sticks for my polish swatches instead of my tired nails.  This time, though, I coated the sticks ahead of time with a clear polish to keep the colors from bleeding or feathering.  Looks OK but I still plan to get a bunch of the clear plastic nail swatch sticks which will look better and more professional.

Here’s Paradise Sun as a set.

ParSun bottles

Left to right:

  • Aphrodite
  • Mae
  • Isa
  • Oceane
  • Selene
  • Genesis

In no particular order, here we go.

ParSun whites

ParSun whites2

No dupes here.  Genesis is an opaque white base with white shimmer, and Ginessa is a mostly clear base with silvery white glitter.  Seraphina’s not even close; it’s a light silver.  I think Ginessa could be used as a semi-sheer top coat but Genesis couldn’t, too opaque.

ParSun purples

ParSun purples2

Once again, I have to emphasize that Isa does not photograph as purple as I think it appears in person.  Here it looks just as blue as Neve and lighter, too, but it really isn’t.  Belinda is a darker purple with blue shimmer, and Hope’s not close since it has a dark pink tone.  In real life I’d say Isa is halfway between Neve and Belinda in … purpleness.  Purpleocity.  Purpleism.

ParSun blues

ParSun blues2

Here’s a good mix of shimmery blues that lean turquoise.  No dupes — Noel is more silvery, Charla is greener with glitter, and Tallulah is more blue.

ParSun teals

ParSun teals2

Teal time!  Giovanna and Selene are very, very close, with Giovanna being a hair darker.  Truthfully, if I already had Giovanna I wouldn’t get Selene too, but maybe you want every teal every made.  Zuza is way lighter, and remains one of my fave teals ever.

ParSun pinks

ParSun pinks2

Let’s look at the new Mae in the pink family.  Izzy is darker and Kimber is more red, but I find Gilda to be an almost-dupe.  Gilda may be a tad more glittery but not enough to make a huge difference in my opinion.

ParSun reds

ParSun reds2

Here’s the new Aphrodite with two older colors, Elke and Milla.  Elke is redder and more opaque but Milla is quite similar.  I think Milla has a bit more sparkle/shimmer, while Aphrodite is more of a glass fleck.  Also, Milla is discontinued.

Overall I found more near-dupes in my Zoya stash for Paradise Sun polishes.  I hope this post has been useful and fun for you, in deciding what to buy or put on your wish list.  Have a great weekend!

Disclosure:  The Paradise Sun Collection and many comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

Paradise Sun Collection from Zoya — full review!

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Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

Continuing with my reviews of the new Island Fun and Paradise Sun summer collections , today we see the shimmers, Paradise Sun.  Hope you enjoyed my review yesterday of the cremes of Island Fun.

Here are the Paradise Sun polishes:

ParSun bottles

Left to right:

  • Aphrodite
  • Mae
  • Isa
  • Oceane
  • Selene
  • Genesis

The two sets compared:

ParSun and IslFun

As you can see, five of the colors in each set generally correspond, but Island Fun has a tropical green and Paradise Sun has a white.

The formula of the Paradise Sun polishes is interesting — they are not all straight shimmers; Aphrodite, Mae, and Isa have a definite glass fleck look.  I used two coats unless otherwise stated but think Aphrodite and Mae could’ve benefited from a third coat.  Photographed without a top coat under indirect sunny outdoor light.

Aphrodite is a shimmery tomato or poppy red.  Very bright.  This one is the most jelly-like of the set.

ParSun Aphrodite

Yep, definitely could’ve used a third coat.

Mae is a bright magenta pink.  It’s as loud and as brash as Mae West, don’t know if it was named for her or not.  Zoya calls it warm-toned but I’d call it cool or neutral.  Not a “girly pink,” more of a “big girl pink.”

ParSun Mae

Isa is a blue-purple that I think is stunning.  But like yesterday’s blue-purple Serenity, it photographs much more blue than it appears to be in person.  It’s purple, I tell ya, it’s PURPLE!!

ParSun Isa outd

I tried other lighting.  Here it is with the flash.

ParSun Isa flash

Still looks almost completely blue.  Here’s a shot under artificial indoor light, and while it obviously makes my skin look darker and more yellow, I think this the most accurate representation of Isa I could get.

ParSun Isa ind artif

I highly recommend your seeking out other bloggers’ photos too because they have different cameras and different lighting conditions.  I feel I’m not showing Isa at its best, and believe me, I’m loving this color.

Oceane is a turquoise or ocean blue that’s one of the more opaque shades in the set.

ParSun Oceane

Selene is a teal green, extremely shimmery and also more opaque.  Again, Zoya calls it warm but I would say it’s neutral and would flatter many skin tones.

ParSun Selene

Genesis is a crystalline white, too opaque to be used as a sheer top coat.  I used three coats and wonder if four would  have been better, or perhaps two coats over a very opaque white creme.  Funny, I didn’t think I’d like Genesis since I rarely wear white polish, but it makes my hands look tan without the sun or UV exposure of actually getting tan.   And would be a knockout on very dark skin.  The shimmer keeps it from looking like White-Out®.

ParSun Genesis

My impressions:  I love shimmers and love the saturated colors of Paradise Sun.  While they indeed look summery, most of them would be right at home the rest of the year too.  The white of Genesis and the blue-purple of Isa for winter?  Yes, please.  Teal in the fall?  Yoobetcha, especially since the color looks good with browns and warm reds.  My favorites in this set are…. all of them.  But OK, if I could only pick a few I’d grab Isa and Aphrodite — the former because I love purple and the latter because I rarely find an orange-red I love.  Aphrodite’s jelly-like formula is fun, too.

ParSun all six

Lots of comparisons coming later this week!

Zoya polishes are 5-Free — free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  Paradise Sun polishes are $9 each at .

Disclosure:  These polishes were sent by Zoya for review.

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