Tag Archives: red

The last of the autumn leaves

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

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.

Zoya’s Winter 2015 Matte Velvets available now

Although the pre-release sale price is past, the new Winter 2015 Matte Velvet Collection from Zoya is now available for general sale at Zoya.com.

Zoya winter mattes banner

Zoya winter mattes triple spill 2


Zoya winter mattes triple spill

Official press release:

Six new MATTEVELVET Nail Colors to slip into this WINTER/HOLIDAY season.

The best-selling, MATTEVELVET finish returns this holiday season with six new shades. Each nail polish perfectly opaque, matte color with that extra special ZOYA MATTEVELVET fleck finish everyone loves.

  • Aspen (ZP814) – a sparkling artic white with a micronized diamond pearl fleck.
  • Sue (ZP815) – a soft champagne gold with a multi-hued oyster shell pearl fleck.
  • Amal (ZP816) – a classic crimson red with a ruby red pearl fleck.
  • Iris (ZP817) – a deep amethyst with a fuchsia pearl fleck.
  • Yves (ZP818) – a deep sapphire that’s midway in between indigo and royal blue with a blue pearl fleck.
  • Honor (ZP819) – a true emerald green with a tone on tone emerald pearl fleck.

NOTE: MATTEVELVET nail color by Zoya is not intended to be worn with a base coat, glossy top coat or speed dryer. Due to the unique matte formulation, color is not as long-wearing as traditional nail color. A completely clean, dry surface yields the best results for matte nail color wear. To extend wear, apply one coat of the Zoya Matte Velvet Topcoat over your favorite matte shades after polish is completely dry.


Zoya MATTEVELVET Colors, 0.5 oz. –  $10 (US) ea.
Zoya MATTEVELVET Color Sampler, 6 – 0.5 oz. bottles –  $60 (US)

Available in top salons, spas and on zoya.com

* **BIG5FREE, TOXIN FREE: Zoya Nail Polish Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or camphor.


Watch LIVE as Zoya Nail Polish on Periscope.
Follow Zoya on Periscope: @ZoyaNailPolish



Zoya winter mattes Aspen


Zoya winter mattes Sue


Zoya winter mattes Amal


Zoya winter mattes Iris


Zoya winter mattes Yves


Zoya winter mattes Honor

Hope I will be able to review these and compare them to Zoya’s previous Matte Velvets such as Posh and Veruschka.

Sneak peek and a great deal from Zoya — Winter 2015 Matte Velvets!

Look what landed in my inbox.  And since Zoya is freely discussing it and advertising the code on their Facebook page, ain’t no secret!

Zoya winter mattes

Sneak Peek + VIP First Access! The highly coveted and anticipated, MatteVelvet formula is back by popular demand for Holiday/Winter 2015 in 6 NEW matte shades – which become officially available on 10/1/2015!  As a special thank-you to our valued customers, we’re giving you first access to the entire set at a special pre-order price of $40 + FREE Shipping (regular retail price $60) through Monday 9/28. Pre-order the set HERE.

Pre-Order the NEW MatteVelvet Sampler
Special Price $40 (Original Price $60)
NOW – 9/28 (11:59pm EST)

How it Works:

1. Add the Matte Velvet Winter/Holiday Sampler to your shopping cart.
2. Enter Code: MATTEUP into the coupon code field in cart and press “Apply Code”
3. Complete check-out, review and submit order

*Terms & Conditions
Valid online only at www.zoya.com 9/25/15 – 9/28/15 (11:59pm EST). Special pre-order price only applies to the new MatteVelvet Sampler (ZPSAMPLER1507). Continental US and Canada ONLY. Not valid in conjunction with other coupons, codes or gift with purchase items. Returns or exchanges of promotional items not permitted. Art of Beauty is not responsible for incorrect addresses, credit card entry errors, declined credit cards or web related issues. Code must be entered at the time of purchase – code cannot be reinstated on canceled orders


$40 for a full-sized set of six plus free shipping is an awesome deal.  I’ve often wished Zoya would have a discount for ordering an entire set.  Please note this sale price is now through Monday 9/28 ONLY!  You snooze, you lose.

Here are more pix:


Zoya winter mattes Aspen


Zoya winter mattes Sue


Zoya winter mattes Amal


Zoya winter mattes Iris


Zoya winter mattes Yves


Zoya winter mattes Honor

I think the colors look very festive, don’t you?  I wonder how close the red, green, and purple ones are to previous MatteVelvets from Zoya.  I don’t think they’re dupes.

Not sure yet if I’ll get media samples for review.  Hope so.  And I am extremely selfishly pleased that there’s finally a “Sue”!!  :-D

The pumpkin stampede

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

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!

Matte Rouge — new collection from Color Club

Well, this is intriguing — an all-matte seven-polish set from Color Club called Matte Rouge.

You’d guess from the name that all the shades are red or reddish, wouldn’t you?  Here’s a pic of the bottles from Color Club’s web site, where each one costs $8.50.

CC Matte Rouge

I find the official photos at CC’s site to be less than accurate when it comes to the real color of the polish.  For what I suspect is a better look, check out this Instagram picture from Ink361.  Whoa.  Much more vibrant!  I know lighting can vary, and so on, but this shot is IMO better for gauging the colors.

If you’re interested, this set is out now, and Head2ToeBeauty has it for $3.50 per polish.  I’ve ordered from H2TB in the past and been very pleased, no affiliation.


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