Tag Archives: flair

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

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.

Comparisons for the Focus Collection from Zoya

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Disclosure:  The Focus Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Warning, I’m going super-lazy today with my comparisons.  My nails and cuticles need a rest from all the polish and remover I’ve been subjecting them to in the last few days so I’m using swatch sticks.  And fewer photos.  Here’s my full review of Focus if you need a refresher.

Before I get to the Focus Collection comps, though, two reader suggestions regarding the Flair set.  Click on any of the following photos for bigger views.

Flair comp7

Jinx is an older discontinued metallic from Zoya, and it’s lighter and more coppery than the new Cinnamon.

Flair comp8

Had to photograph these two at more of an angle because the bright blue shimmer confuses my camera.  Tallulah is lighter and brighter than Estelle.

Moving on to Focus, first of all I have no other Zoyas like Charli for comparison… to which I say “Thank goodness.”  I reallyreallyreally did not like that color.

I got out several older red cremes and am putting three older ones in between the new Hannah and Janel.

Focus comp1

Hannah and Sooki are practically duplicates.  Livingston and Stella are darker than Hannah but lighter than Janel.

The blue one, Sia:

Focus comp2

Sia is darker than Ling from the 2014 summer set called Tickled.

For the purple Lidia, I had almost nothing from Zoya to compare.  I don’t own Pinta but I did dig up Casey.

Focus comp3

Both are so dark that it’s difficult to see a difference.  Casey’s formula was thinner, though, and let’s look at the bottles.

Focus comp6

Well, that didn’t help much!  They’re near-dupes although Lidia’s formula is thicker and IMO better.  If you already have and like Casey I’d say you don’t need Lidia.  HOWEVER, if you look at the two on Zoya’s site, Casey is more red-toned than Lidia.  I didn’t see it in person myself; both are so dark and inky, in a good way.

Similarly, it’s hard to see a difference between the new brown Desiree and the older Louise.

Focus comp4

Focus comp5

Louise is more warm-toned and Desiree is slightly gray-toned.  Not a huge difference though.  I no longer own the brown Emilia, but that was much grayer than Louise.  Here’s my old photo under much different lighting:

Zoya Nat2 comp4

I wasn’t wowed by the Focus Collection but if you want to fill in some holes in your creme polish collection or need to replace some old colors, there ya go.

Don’t forget that Zoya announced mini sets of both the Flair and Focus Collections.  Each mini sampler is $30 and includes a free Mini Color Lock System and free shipping.

Zoya Flair Focus mini sets

Disclosure:  The Focus Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Comparisons for the Flair Collection from Zoya

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Disclosure:  The Flair Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

Hope you enjoyed my Flair review the other day.  Time for comps (on my newly-cut nails)!

Flair bottles

To recap, the new shimmery colors are:

Tris (ZP813) – blackened brushed nickel
Cinnamon (ZP812) – classic bronze
Aggie (ZP811) – gold liquid metal with bronze microglitter
Ember (ZP810) – fiery red
Giada (ZP809) – purple with a hint of fuchsia pearl
Estelle (ZP808) – blue liquid metal with a blackened base

Zoya’s had several dark shimmery grays in recent years:  Freja, Cassedy, Claudine, and Yuna.  I’ve never owned Freja and I did have Cassedy but gave it away.  Here is Tris compared to Yuna and Claudine.

Flair comp5

No dupes.  Claudine is neutral and was a one-coater.  Tris required three coats and like the other day, brushstrokes were a bother.  Yuna has gold flecks that, when seen against the dark gray, give it a greenish tint.  Cassedy was also greenish and I don’t care for that in a gray polish.  For more gray comps without Tris, see this older post, especially the pictures submitted by a guest reader at the end.  Very helpful!

I have nothing really close to Cinnamon in my Zoya stash.  Here’s Cinnamon along with Kalista and Cheryl, but you can see even without swatching that Cinnamon is lighter and more bronze, while the other two are darker.  Kalista has a plum tone and is still available at Zoya’s web site but Cheryl is discontinued.

Flair comp3

Aggie is also unique.  Here it is next to Ziv but they aren’t that similar.  Ziv is a straight-up light gold metallic/foil and Aggie is a multichrome with copper and green shifts.  My full review the other day showed Aggie at more angles.

Flair comp1

Ember has a slight orange tone that makes it different from true reds.  I don’t have Elisa for comparison but do have the maddeningly similarly named Lisa, along with a reader request of Knees Up from Butter London.  Both Lisa and Knees Up are darker and more cool-toned, and the latter is more glittery.

Flair comp2

I had lots of shimmery purples to pull for comparison with Giada.  While I don’t own 2012’s Suri, I do have Belinda, Hope, and Juno.

Flair comp6

Whoa.  Hope and Juno are obviously much more pink and frankly I wonder why I have both of them!  Belinda is more blue-toned than Giada and also has slight pink sparkles.  Giada seems like more of a straight purple, but again, I don’t have Suri to compare it to but feel other bloggers will do that.

Estelle just begs to be shown next to the very popular Song, also from 2012.

Flair comp4

Song is darker but is a sweet one-coater.  As you can see, Estelle is slightly lighter, and I used two coats.

Hope these pics help you to make buying decisions.  I feel Cinnamon and Aggie are unique in Zoya’s lineup, still love Ember, still don’t care for Tris, and like Giada more than I did the other day.  Estelle is a very pretty polish but I personally prefer Song.

Worth noting is that today Zoya announced mini sets of both the Flair and Focus Collections.  Each set of six minis is $30, which is slightly more expensive than buying three full-sized polishes, but you gotta remember that for any company, a lot of the cost is in the packaging.  And with either mini set, you get a free Mini Color Lock System and free shipping.  Maybe go in with a friend or relative and split the cost and polishes!

Zoya Flair Focus mini sets

Disclosure:  The Flair Collection polishes and some comparison polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

The Flair Collection from Zoya — full review

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Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

The Focus and Flair Collections are out!  Due to popular demand, I’ll be swatching the metallic set, Flair, first.

ZP_FLAIR_GROUP SHOT_RGB

Tris (ZP813) – blackened brushed nickel
Cinnamon (ZP812) – classic bronze
Aggie (ZP811) – gold liquid metal with bronze microglitter
Ember (ZP810) – fiery red
Giada (ZP809) – purple with a hint of fuchsia pearl
Estelle (ZP808) – blue liquid metal with a blackened base

Flair bottles

I’m having a hard time swatching this week — temps are soaring, humidity is plummeting, and the outdoor ambient light is yellowish due to smoke from nearby wildfires.  I had to stop and try again at a different time.  For all polishes unless otherwise noted, I used two coats with no top coat and each color is shown under indirect outdoor light.

Tris is indeed a dark nickel gray.  I think I see a slight greenish cast.  Zoya calls it cool-toned but I think it’s a neutral.  It was sheerer than I expected and required three coats, which led to a slight problem with brushstrokes.

Flair Tris

It’s OK, not crazy about it.

Cinnamon, oh Cinnamon.  How I love thee.  It’s a molten brown-bronze and is one of those polishes where, once I’m wearing it, I keep holding my hand out at arm’s length and admiring the color.

Flair Cinnamon

Wouldn’t this look gorgeous if you were wearing, say, a loden green sweater or an orange-red jacket?  Brushstrokes were a bit problematic but I feel the trouble was with the weather and not the polish.  When I got to my last swatches late yesterday it seemed as if polish was drying as soon as I touched my nails.

Aggie is quite the unusual one.  While I expected a duochrome look from the promo bottle shot, it’s even more than that.  Aggie seems to have a sheer dark grayish base that makes the polish much more than gold.  It’s gold at some angles, coppery at others, and has a dusty blue-green sheen at others.

Flair Aggie 1

 

Flair Aggie 2

Can you see the glints of copper?

Flair Aggie 3

At first I couldn’t even decide if I liked Aggie or not, and then I decided that yes I do.  It’s refreshingly different, not — I repeat NOT — the world’s umpteenth dupe of Chanel’s Peridot.  In 2012 everybody was trying to dupe that one.  Here’s an OPI I had that was a Peridot dupe and you can see they’re very different; Aggie is more of a bronze-gold and much less green.

Ember is a great name for this glowing red shimmer.  I think it’s warm-toned and is slightly but not overtly orange-ish.  Like, you know, embers.  Definitely not a plain red.  It seemed to have a particularly smooth formula.  I am SO wearing this with a denim shirt!

FlairEmber

It looks like I have an extra light shining on Ember but I don’t.  Call this baby Rudolph, ’cause you could even say it glows!

Giada is a very dark cool-toned purple, not blackened but with a fuchsia shimmer.  It was almost but not quite a one-coater.

Flair Giada

Zoya calls Estelle “blue on blue,” which us oldies may remember as the name of a Bobby Vinton song.  No heartache on heartache with Estelle, though.  I thought I’d need three coats because the first one was so sheer, but two were enough.  By the way, did you know Vinton recorded an entire album of blue-themed songs?  The super-popular “Blue Velvet” came from that album too.

Flair Estelle

My surprise favorite in the Flair Collection is Ember, and I also love Cinnamon and Aggie.

My recommendations?  Pick what you love.  Hoped I’d love Cinnamon and I did.  Didn’t think I’d love Ember but I did.  Giada and Estelle are beautiful but I feel I have several polishes that are dupes or nearly so, but if you don’t have any that are close I highly recommend them.  Aggie’s the kooky cousin that comes to visit — some people don’t know what to think of her but you love her ’cause she’s stylish and different.  Tris is not my cup of tea.

The Focus Collection review will be up tomorrow, hopefully, and I will continue through the weekend with comparison posts.  Want me to compare certain other Zoyas to Focus and Flair?  Just ask!

ZOYA IS THE HEALTHY COLOR OF FASHION!  The Focus and Flair Collections are shipping NOW!

$9 (US) Available on Zoya.com and at finer salons and spas.

*BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor, and is vegan-friendly.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by Zoya for review.

The news we’ve been waiting for — new Zoya Fall Collections — Focus & Flair

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I’ve been checking every day for weeks, waiting for a preview of the new fall collections from Zoya.  It’s here!  They’re here!  You know what I mean!

Meet Focus & Flair:

Zoya Focus & Flair banner2

ZPPLATE15051506_Fall2015_Nail Plate_RGB

As we’ve come to expect, there’s a six-piece set of cremes and a six-piece set of metallics or shimmers.  Here’s a really awesome pic; click on it for a BIG, glorious view:

Zoya Focus & Flair fall 2015

The collection of cremes is called Focus —

Zoya Focus set

Charli (ZP807) – dusty taupe with a hint of green
Desiree (ZP806) – classic sable brown
Hannah (ZP805) – clear, classic red
Janel (ZP804) – deep warm red
Lidia (ZP803) – rich eggplant
Sia (ZP802) – true royal blue

ZP_FOCUS_GROUP SHOT_RGB

ZP_FOCUS_GROUP SPILL_RGB

And the collection of metallics is called Flair —

Zoya Flair set

Tris (ZP813) – blackened brushed nickel
Cinnamon (ZP812) – classic bronze
Aggie (ZP811) – gold liquid metal with bronze microglitter
Ember (ZP810) – fiery red
Giada (ZP809) – purple with a hint of fuchsia pearl
Estelle (ZP808) – blue liquid metal with a blackened base

ZP_FLAIR_GROUP SHOT_RGB

ZP_FLAIR_GROUP SPILL_RGB

May come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m already ga-ga over Cinnamon.  Makes me want to have a slice of cinnamon apple pie with cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Zoya Focus & Flair Cinnamon mani

And Aggie looks like it’s a subtle duochrome.  I love golds that aren’t too yellowish.

Zoya Flair Aggie

The rest of the Flair set is grabbing me and won’t let go as well.  Tris is a beautiful-looking dark nickel, and I think there are subtle differences in Ember, Giada, and Estelle as compared to the very popular Elisa, Suri, and Song from the 2012 Diva Collection.

Zoya Focus & Flair banner

PRE-ORDER starts NOW!

ZOYA IS THE HEALTHY COLOR OF FASHION!

$9 (US) Available on Zoya.com and at finer salons and spas.

*BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor, and is vegan-friendly.

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