Tag Archives: december

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 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.

Playing catch up with the SquareHue December box

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Imagine my blogger horror when I realized that I forgot to swatch and review the December box from monthly polish subscription program SquareHue.  I have a ton of excuses, none of them very good.  My box was held up for over a week by the post office, so by the time I received it, other bloggers had reviewed it extensively and I put it aside.  And yes, it was the post office’s blunder and not SquareHue’s; I could tell by the postmark.

If you’re a new reader, SquareHue ships to both the U.S. and Canada and you get three full-sized polishes, but you don’t know ahead of time what they’ll be.  Pricing is simple, $14.99 plus $5.00 s&h, and you can suspend or cancel your account easily at any time with no penalty.  The company’s customer service is fantastic and they are extremely dependable.  “Dependable” seems like a boring attribute until you try dealing with a company that isn’t!

Since today is crazy and since I just received the January 2014 SquareHue box in the mail (!!!!), this review of the December box is going to be brief and quick:  December.  New York.  Red.  Creme.  Yellow.  Duochrome.  Pearl.  Silver.  Holo.  There, I’m done.

Just kidding, although I am going to swatch them all at once.  The theme of the December box is New York, in the company’s new extended theme of The Passport Collection.  I don’t know how long this Passport/world theme will be going on, perhaps a whole year.  Time will tell.  The polishes are:

  • Fifth Avenue — a bright red classic creme
  • Broadway — a sheer pearl top coat, pale yellow with a pink/purple duochrome sheen
  • Times Square — a silver linear holographic (holo)

SqH Dec bottles

SqH Dec bottles2

Fifth Avenue is, somewhat surprisingly, a color that SquareHue hasn’t done before.  Surprising, I mean, because it’s such a classic.  Bright cherry red, it’s modern and retro all at once.  It’s a color I think everyone needs in their stash.  Fifth Avenue applied very smoothly and I used two coats for coverage but think I should have used three.  It’s very glossy on its own.

Broadway is a bit of a puzzle.  It’s sheer and is meant to be used as a top coat but I don’t know yet what I want to top with it.  The yellow tone will change whatever underlying color I use, so I’m going to think about this one.  It also has an unusual pink-purple duochrome shift.  I tried three coats to see if I could build opacity, but no.

Times Square is my favorite, and it’s the favorite of almost every reviewer I’ve read.  It’s a true holo, and I love its smooth application.  I used three coats for full coverage.  Here are all three polishes under indirect dreary outdoor light and with the bottle of Fifth Avenue:

SqH Dec swatch1

Here’s the bottle of Broadway held at a different angle so you can see the duochrome more:

SqH Dec swatch2

Finally, here are two shots with the bottle of Times Square.  The first is with the flash and the second is under direct (but still dreary) outdoor light.  Look at that holo!

SqH Dec swatch3

SqH Dec swatch4

You can see that Times Square exhibits a rainbow effect under the flash, so I’m calling it a linear holo.  But it’s not as blinding as most linear holos I’ve seen and I’d be tempted to call it a semi-linear holo, if there is such a thing.  For a great explanation of holo finishes, see Lab Muffin.  In future boxes I’d love to see SquareHue come up with similar holos in other colors, like pink or blue or purple, even black.

The January box is The Passport Collection: London, and I’ll review it ASAP.

Holiday looks… from 1972

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Long-time readers will know of my fascination with the fashions, music, and pop culture of the 1970s.  Is it any wonder?  The ‘7os held all my high school years and all but a few months of my college ones.  I love looking at old magazines from the time because I remember a lot of the ads and get a good laugh out of others.  The looks!  The prices!

Last summer I bought an eBay auction of six Seventeen mags from 1972.  The price wasn’t bad considering how many happy hours I’ve had looking at them and being alternately delighted and horrified that yes, I used to dress like that.

Thought I’d share some looks with you from the December issue.  Here’s a gem of an outfit from Bobbie Brooks, in Christmas colors, no less:


Remember those idiotic polyester knit vests?  It seemed to be a contest who could make the weirdest-looking ones.  This one has ruffly straps.  WTF is up with the model’s glasses?  Is she a welder in her spare time?

Maybe you’re in more of a pastel mood.  JCPenney is there for you:


Let’s be honest; if men dressed like this they were pimps.

The palazzo skirt was actually wide-legged pants.  Really, really wide-legged.  I think an entire bolt of fabric was sacrificed to make them, and you could shelter a small family in there.  And is that another ruffled vest?  It is.

Moving on to an actual article of what to wear to a Christmas party, I found this:


It’s a pinafore.  It’s plaid.  It’s ruffled.  And I’ll bet I wanted it.  Note her perfume is “gay Ambush” — this was when “gay” meant “happy,” and that’s ALL it meant.  Do not say “gay Ambush” nowadays, please.

Much earlier this year I showed you a retro ad for Yardley nail polish.

Retro ad Yardley

Guess what?  This issue of Seventeen had an ad for the coordinating lipstick:


Ah, those old pink, orange, and white Yardley bottles and containers… I miss Yardley.

Seriously, I love these old magazines and ads.  The models looked like real people, albeit beautiful ones.  Many of them had freckles, skin imperfections, imperfect teeth, and normal-sized busts.  Nowadays between plastic surgery and Photoshop, models look strangely fake and robotic.  Who’s with me on this?  I love the old makeup, too — lip gloss and nail polish were shiny but not glittery.  One thing I definitely don’t miss from the early ’70s is the plucked-to-almost-nothing eyebrow look.

And now, here’s my Christmas gift to you.  Remember the original Herbal Essence shampoo by Clairol from the early ’70s?  Not the reformulated stuff from the ’80s or early 2000s; I’m talking the original green shampoo.  This stuff, that always had the Hippie Queen of the Flower Children in the commercials:


It hasn’t been made for decades.  I tried to find knock-offs because I loved the scent SO MUCH.  Original Herbal Essence was the smell of my early teens.  Ah, innocence.  First love, polyester, and all that jazz.

Well guess what, I found a dupe.  And it’s so cheap I suspect it’s full of carcinogens and radioactivity, but what the heck.  It’s called Vanart, is made in Mexico, and is available at Walmart.

Vanart shampoo

The price?  $1.97 for a whole QUART.  You read that right, $1.97 for 32 ounces.  It smells exactly like the original Herbal Essence, so much so that I often use it as bubble bath instead of shampoo.  At that price I can afford to pour an ounce down the drain now and then.  (Warning:  I’m not kidding about the carcinogens:  http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/29/cancer-causing-chemical-in-shampoos/   Buy and use any beauty product with caution.)  I’m such a sucker for the scent that I’ll live dangerously, though.

Finally, I’ll leave you with one of the marketing blurbs on a photo layout in this issue of Seventeen.  It kind of sums up my entire teen years, or, to be more exact, how this shy bookworm wishes they’d been.

“Going — going where?” you might ask.  We say, going wherever the good times are, wherever you want to go.  To dance, to play, to party.  To visit with friends.  Even to sit quietly, think and read.  The clothes follow the mood.  The mood?  Well, he calls, suggests an anything-goes evening.  “Let’s just jump in the car and do what we feel.”

Gee, who’s the Hippie Queen of the Flower Children now???  😉

More China Glaze news

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Hope you enjoyed reading about Tranzitions from China Glaze yesterday, because I have more news!

First up is a bright collection coming out in November called Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away to tie in with an upcoming 3D movie from the famous Cirque du Soleil.  Here’s an unofficial picture since apparently there’s no official word yet, despite it being the end of October now.

Wow, lots of bright colors there.  Let’s take a closer look.

Looks like there will be cremes, shimmers, and glitters.  Even though I rarely wear black polish, I’m really intrigued by the black, Get Carried Away.  It looks like a shimmery night sky.  The two glitters at the top of the photo are fascinating too.

Finally, China Glaze will have another collection called Glimmers, a six-piece set of chunky (?) glitters in December.

Since these are computer-generated bottle pictures, it’s hard to tell what they’ll really be like.  I’m not going to slobber over these quite yet — I learned my lesson when I freaked out over computer-generated pictures of China Glaze’s Bohemian duochromes and then found the actual polish to be much less impressive.

China Glaze “Tranzitions” preview

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In the march to attract customers by coming out with something different, China Glaze is jumping in with a color-changing collection due out in December called Tranzitions.

Unlike photochromatic polishes which change color in sunlight, these will change with the addition of a top coat.  I don’t know if you need a special top coat or if any will do.

Interesting.  Would be a lot of fun if you’re into nail art.

  • Split Perso-nail-ity – dusty pink without top coat/ deep dusty pink with top coat
  • Duplicityy – soft sea foam green without top coat/ deep mint green with top coat
  • Modify Me – periwinkle without top coat/ indigo with top coat
  • Altered Reality – turquoise without top coat/ chrome turquoise water with top coat
  • Metallic Metamorphosis – gray metallic without top coat/ blue gray with top coat
  • Shape Shifter – violet gun metal without top coat/ deep blue purple with top coat

I was hoping for real swatches and sure enough, China Glaze shows them to us, along with some ideas, in this video.  (I had to laugh at the cheesy lounge music!)

If the embed is not working correctly here’s the URL:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s0pWplNYEM

So there’s some news for you on this Monday morning.  Hope everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy is staying safe!

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