Tag Archives: 2015

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.

Misa, you make it difficult

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Dear Misa Cosmetics,

I know you’re not that famous of a polish company.  You know all those people who say, “It’s not you, it’s me”?  They’re lying.  The problem in this relationship is YOU.

I’ve tried to love you.  But you’re so elusive.  I have never, ever seen you for sale in person.  In the past, I’ve bought you from Head2ToeBeauty, but even they gave up on you — the last collection of yours they stocked was Surreal Escape from Winter 2011.  Yeah, FOUR years ago.

Oh, I check your web site occasionally but wonder why I bother.  As of today, December 14th, the banner on your web site advertises the summer collection.  Summer.  Is it that you feel winter shouldn’t be announced until the winter solstice, spring at the spring equinox, and so on?  Even if that’s the reasoning, where the hell did fall go?  Nope, somebody dropped the ball.

I sent you a message last week on your Facebook page, and you replied that the winter collection would be up by the end of the week.

It wasn’t.

Sure, today you posted one teaser picture…

Misa winter 2015 banner

… but that’s it.  Gee, could you have possibly made the bottles any smaller??

The first — the very first — polish I showed on this blog was your Runway Diva, a safe pink-mauve.  But I loved it and still love it.  Fantastic formula.

I’m telling you all this for your own good.  The fashion and social media worlds are gonna pass you by if you don’t get with it a little more.  People now are already thinking past winter and into post-holiday sales and spring colors.  They — and I — are dreaming about the Pantone colors of the year for 2016.

Hope to see you in a much more timely manner next year.

(wanna) Love (you but you make it hard),

The Silver Nail

Cosmo with a Twist

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Woo, got a new holiday shade to show off!  Recently — well, a month ago already… time flies when you’re waiting for your local stores to get new releases in — Canadian beauty blogger BeautyGeeks swatched the entire Starlight holiday collection from OPI, all 18 shades.  Quite a few beautiful ones there, but the only one I was dying to have was the blue-purple shimmer Cosmo With A Twist (CWAT).

Finallyfinallyfinally my Ulta got the set.  I almost bought the deep red shimmer Let Your Love Shine, picked it up and put it back twice.  Really don’t need another shimmery red, though.  I have enough to paint Santa’s workshop as it is.

Cosmo With A Twist is a sheer grape purple base with loads of blue and purple sparkles.  OPI always has such good sturdy brushes and handles, too.  The first coat was sheer and streaky, and the second was still patchy in spots so I used three.  With no top  coat under indirect cloudy outdoor light:

Cosmo waT outd

This looked more blue than I thought it appeared in person, so I moved closer to the window and snapped this:

Cosmo waT outd2

Hmmm, still looks more blue than purple but I see more purple in the bottle.  With a fill flash:

Cosmo waT flash

Ooh, aah.  Starry night sky!  I wouldn’t call CWAT a duochrome because the color does not change at different angles.

I decided to try one quick coat of my Butter London matte top coat and got this.  Indirect outdoor light:

Cosmo waT mattified

Doesn’t look super-matte but I love it anyway.

CWAT and the other OPI shades were $9.50 at Ulta, but they are having a sale of two OPIs for $16 if you’re interested.  Plus if you buy at least two you get a gift with purchase, which in my store was a little pink scarf (participation may vary).

Cosmo With A Twist isn’t the most Christmasy of colors, but when it comes to blue-purples, what can I say; I’m a pig.  I must have been deprived of blue and purple crayons in childhood.

Essie Luxeffects 2015

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That time of year — you can’t swing an emery board without hitting a holiday nail polish collection.  Without further ado, here is the Essie Luxeffects Collection for 2015:

Essie Luxe 2015

Essie Luxe 2015b

Four shades of…. just what are they, anyway?  Hex glitter?  What?

BeautyGeeks and KellieGonzo to our rescue.  Take a gander at this post right here to see great photos and swatches of all four.  Two are bar glitter and the other two are bar glitter plus some tiny hex glitters.

Interesting but not my cuppa hot chocolate, either this holiday season or any other time.  I’ve tried bar glitter in the past and seriously dislike how it looks on me.  It’s as if the tiny lines of the bar glitter emphasize the fine lines and wrinkles on my hands.  No thanks.  But if you like the look or know someone who does, the Essie Luxeffects are a nice change from plain white or silver bar glitter.


Won’t be able to post much this week.  I’m spending a couple of days being an extra in a movie.  Truth!

More screenshots of the new Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette

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Earlier today I posted about newsy new stuff from Too Faced.  Since I’m obsessed with the new Chocolate Bon Bons eye shadow palette, I thought I’d go through TF’s video intro of the palette and take screenshots of the colors, all sixteen of them.

Keep in mind that colors can vary widely on different monitors or screens and also that TF did a pink halo effect around and behind each shade’s name in the picture, so I’d say that probably the color around the outside edge of each one is the most accurate.  This is no substitute for seeing the colors in person, but for now it’s what we’ve got.

Here’s the YouTube teaser: 

Direct link if you can’t see embedded videos:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3V2yb6dIGI

TF Choc bon bons youtube2

Here’s each one, in alphabetical order, not the order they appear in the palette.

TF CBB Almond Truffle

TF CBB Black Currant

TF CBB Bordeaux

TF CBB Cafe au Lait

TF CBB Cashew Chew

TF CBB Cotton Candy

TF CBB Dark Truffle

TF CBB Divinity

TF CBB Earl Grey

TF CBB Malted

TF CBB Mocha

TF CBB Molasses Chip

TF CBB Pecan Praline

TF CBB Satin Sheets

TF CBB Sprinkles

TF CBB Totally Fetch

Divinity and Satin Sheets are the two largest rectangular pans and are probably more for using as a base or highlighter.  There appears to be a good mix of mattes and shimmers.  These old eyes can’t wear all shimmers but love a pop of them.

Hope you liked these closer views.  The pix go by so quickly in the YouTube video!  I’m really excited about the purples, pinks, and cool-toned browns… basically all of them.  If you are too, tell your family.  Tell your friends.  Tell Santa.

Chocolate. And Peanut Butter & Jelly.

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No, I haven’t turned into a food blog.  No, I’m not discussing Halloween candy and my personal downfall, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  But this just out — TooFaced Cosmetics has just shown some teaser pictures on Instagram of TWO new eye shadow palettes coming out as part of their Spring 2016 line.

First, one I have been trying to discover more about for months is their third Chocolate Bar Palette.  Two years ago they came out with the first one and last year with the second.  The first, called Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Collection, is still available and is a set of both warm- and cool-toned shadows that actually contain cocoa powder and which smell like chocolate.  I had to have it.  The second, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar, is also available and is more warm-toned and I’ve been on the verge of buying it several times but always retreated.

In August we saw the first sneak peek of a third palette, Chocolate Bon Bons.  [Now, a rant — TooFaced had a palette with this exact same name years ago, so if you do a Google search on it, that’s mostly what you’ll find.  Really?  The company couldn’t make the name even one word different?]  At any rate, the first teaser pictures were tiny and had such weird lighting or tweaking that it was impossible to see what the shades really were.  Several looked distinctly green but there are no greens.

But today some real news.  Look at this YouTube teaser: 

Direct link if you can’t see embedded videos:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3V2yb6dIGI

Ooh, aah.  I see browns, pinks, a dark gray, purple tones.  Here is the cool-toned chocolate palette I’ve been craving.

TF choc bon bons youtube

(Screengrab from the YouTube video)

TooFaced has announced a release date of December 9, 2015, so yeah, in time for Christmas?  I know what I’m asking Santa for!  This release date is for their web site; not sure yet if it will also be in stores such as Ulta or Sephora on that date.

As if that’s not enough, the makeup world was blindsided by news of another eye shadow palette from TF called Peanut Butter & Jelly.  Wh… wh… WHAT?!?


I have no other info on this.  Some people were guessing this was a contour or blush palette, but the fine print at the bottom of the cover/lid does say “Eye Shadow Collection.”  No idea yet how many shadows it contains, what they are, or the release date.  Personally I hope it contains the shade “Peanut Butter” from the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar, my favorite of that whole palette.

OK, maybe you’re not into eye shadows much.  Do you like Too Faced blushes?  They released some heart-shaped ones called Love Flush and I’ve read almost nothing but good about them.  Full-sized ones are $26 SRP each which is a bit much for me considering I’m not sure which shade I’d want, even after playing with the testers in the store.


All six shades are going to be released in one palette.  Granted, they look quite small, but really, if you want to play around with the colors, isn’t that OK?

TF blush palette sneak peek

Comparing the palette in the upper right to the lipstick, which I presume is a typical size, the blushes don’t look a heck of lot bigger than most eye shadow pans.  So getting a big blush brush (say that, ten times fast!) in them could be hard.  No other info on this palette yet re: release date or price.

I think all the heart shapes are a bit much and are a little too cutesy, but that’s Too Faced.  Not a big deal.  The pans in the PB&J palette …. will they be shaped like a piece of bread?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Winter 2015 Matte Velvets from Zoya – Part 3

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Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Hope you enjoyed the first and second parts of my review of the new Winter Matte Velvet polishes from Zoya.  I showed Sue in the first part and then Aspen, Yves, and Amal in the second.  Here’s another pretty promo shot from the company.

Zoya matte velvets 15 bottles

Today let’s see the green, Honor.  Emerald is a great description of it, and the formula was excellent.  Two coats yielded good coverage.   I’m going to go ahead and show you Honor with an earlier Matte Velvet, Veruschka.  They are very close, near-dupes, but not total dupes because Honor is a hair lighter and brighter, and Veruschka has a sheerer blackened base that’s streakier on the first coat.  The bottles:

MV15 Honor and Ver bottles

Swatches under indirect outdoor light and with the flash, with the bottle of Honor:

MV15 Honor outd

MV15 Honor flash

And with a clear shiny top coat, the colors look even closer.  Same lighting:

MV15 Honor top coat outd

MV15 Honor top coat flash

SUPER close.  If you already have Veruschka then you’re easy bein’ green, but if you don’t have either then I think Honor’s formula is better.  The one time I can really tell a difference in the two colors is at a very sharp angle, which was hard to photograph.

MV15 Honor angle

Iris is a good name for a purple polish, wouldn’t you say?  Zoya had a different purple Matte Velvet shade previously called Savita and also had a magenta one called Harlow.  I’m going to show you all three together.

MV15 Iris Har Sav bottles

Iris’s formula was good but was a little thinner and streakier than Honor’s.  I used three coats of it and coincidentally also needed three coats of both Harlow and Savita.  Under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash, with the bottle of Iris:

MV15 Iris outd

MV15 Iris flash

Hopefully it’s obvious that Iris is not a dupe of either Savita or Harlow yet seems to be a blend of the two.  Savita is a dark blue-purple, Iris is dark pinkish-plum, and Harlow is a magenta that also has the most sparkle.  Pick your favorite shade!  Well, you can’t pick Harlow any more because it’s discontinued but Savita is still available.  With a clear shiny top coat:

MV15 Iris top coat outd

MV15 Iris top coat flash

Definitely not dupes whatsover.  I think all three are really pretty, but then I’m a purple hog.


My overall impressions of the Winter 2015 Matte Velvet set are mostly positive.  I love all the colors but one, and ironically it’s the one I was looking forward to the most, Sue.  My bottle is not even close to the lovely light gold seen in the promo pics.  I don’t know if I got a bad bottle or what, but my Sue is an ultra-pale white gold that, while pretty, is not what I was expecting and which I don’t think is the greatest on my skin tone.  I still like it but am not nuts about it.

If you’re interested in Sue but really wanted more of a gold shade, I would seek out swatches from other bloggers and see what they say and show.  Maybe I’m all wet.  It’s also a good idea to look at polishes in person whenever possible before you buy.

My favorite color of the set?  That’s easy — Yves.  I don’t have a matte polish close to the beautiful royal/indigo blue there, and also I like that it’s a new color for Zoya to have in their matte lineup.  My second favorite is Aspen, because it looks so snow-like and wintry.  Pairing Yves with Aspen, either in nail art or in a manicure of all one color with the other as an accent nail?  Yes please!!

Amal and Honor are very beautiful, rich colors yet are close to ones that Zoya already had.  If you never got any of the old ones then that happily does not matter.  Iris is a great plum-purple, and it’s my third fave since it’s not like either the older colors of Savita or Harlow, yet is halfway between the two.

All the Matte Velvets are virtually scent-free, which is great.  I’ve had some mattes from other companies that smelled so harsh and chemical-y that they about knocked me out.

If I ran the polish world — which I most definitely do not nor do I expect to — then I would’ve picked some colors to be in this set that weren’t previously done.  How about a matte copper or bronze?  How about a matte silver or true gold?  Just ideas.

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.  There’s currently a special running in which you can get free shipping if you order any of the Mattes.  Use code MATTES and offer is good through 10/31/15 (11:59pm EST).  Codes cannot be combined and other restrictions may apply.  See Zoya’s Facebook page for the offer, too.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

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