Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Zoya Fire & Ice Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Tiffany, Gloria, Crystal

Zoya Fire & Ice: Hot or Cold, It Works

For winter, Zoya has six new metallic shades: Tiffany (soft champagne sparkling metallic), Gloria (pink champagne sparkling metallic), Crystal (frosty blue sparkling metallic), Lisa (celebration red sparkling metallic), Sarah (possibly the prettiest sparkling red metallic ever!), and Valerie (deep purple baby in a sparkling metallic). You can purchase all six together for $40 or individual shades for $7 a pop. Not sure about a shade? Consider Zoya spoons, which cost $0.50 each, but the cost will be refunded in the form of a coupon that you can use on your next order.

  • Tiffany is a peach-copper color base with flecks of gold glitter pieces and peachy-pink shimmer. Two coats.
  • Gloria is a pinky-red jelly color base with flecks of shiny gold glitter and pink shimmer. Two coats.
  • Crystal is a medium sky blue foil with flecks of green-tinged gold glitter and light blue shimmer.
  • Lisa is a ruby red with pink-red shimmer. The bottle looks like there is gold shimmer in it, but I couldn’t detect it once applied. In the third natural light photo, you can see a little gold edging around the nail. Two coats.
  • Sarah is a deepend brown-tinged red base with pink and copper shimmer. It almost has a duochrome feel to it, but it’s very subtle. Two coats.
  • Valerie is a deep blackened burgundy color base with fuchsia-purple and copper-gold flecks of shimmer. I thought this was the most unique shade out of the collection. Two coats.

First and foremost, there is NO DUPE of MAC’s Bad Fairy. I’ve included swatch comparisons just to be absolutely clear about it, but Bad Fairy has a strong duochrome, while Zoya’s collection is more about a sparkling, metallic finish. Tiffany is incredibly peach in comparison, as well as lighter. Gloria has a very similar composition, but because it lacks the duochrome finish of Bad Fairy, it looks different on the nail; it is also less pink, more orange-red. I think the shade should stand on its own, rather than as a comparison to Bad Fairy.

Crystal and Valerie are my personal favorites out of the six; I think both shades are standouts. The way Zoya did a foil base with foil glitter flecks is fun, but I love that it’s a blue base with green-gold layered on top. I love duochrome polishes, and I don’t have anything like Valerie, so that makes it a winner in my book.

The formula was even, smooth, and not too thick or thin. Everything applied with ease, and I didn’t have any trouble removing them. The glittery shades like Crystal may leave some glittery bits on your fingers, but it’s not at all like removing a large particle glitter polish. I used two coats on all six shades, but Lisa, Sarah, and Valerie were quite pigmented in just one. I found to get a smooth, even distribution of shimmer/glitter, two coats were optimal.

P.S. — I can’t believe that Zoya still has common names like Lisa and Sara available in their arsenal!

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Great formula, fun shades, easy application–any of these are worth checking out if a shade catches your eye.

AVAILABILITY: Zoya

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Monday, September 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Viridian

Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a darkened teal base with lighter teal micro-shimmer; the teal leans towards the blue side, making it a cooler-toned teal. Funny enough, when the flash fired, it pulled out more of the green in the teal, but overall, it still pulls bluer-teal.

The formula and application was just like Scarab: smooth, even, intensely pigmented–one coat would likely be enough, though I did two in the swatches.

Viridian is also new for fall, but it looks to be permanent from what I can tell.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: A very lovely shade and particularly flattering on cooler, paler skin tones as it leans blue.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Scarab

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a fiery ruby red with copper and scarlet shimmer strewn through the color. It almost looks metallic but not quite. It’s a very cool shade with depth; I envision flames licking through the ruby red, because it just has on-fire look to it.   This shade was extremely rich in pigment–one coat was nearly enough, but I still wound up with two, just because it feels more complete (to me) that way.

Nonetheless, smooth, even application with no fuss.  The formula itself was of a medium-thick consistency–the norm for Illamasqua’s varnishes.  It has a slight shine in its natural finish, but I recommend a shiny top coat to really finish it.  I noticed very subtle brush strokes in close-ups, but everything looked pretty smooth at a normal viewing distance.  Illamasqua described this as a metallic, but it feels more like a shimmer with only a touch of metallic-ness.

The Glossover

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Scarab

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Friday, September 24th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Tudors

Going English with Rescue Beauty

Rescue Beauty Lounge just launched their Housewives of Tudor England Collection. It features four shades: Anne (bewitching olive green with a pink-gold metallic iridescence), Catherine (royal purple with a fine pewter sheen and hints of blue and fuschia shimmer), Catherine H. (shimmering Wedgewood blue hue with a hint of a gold- and pink-flecked darkening sky), and Jane (pale gray pearl with sheer washes of pink and gold). Each retails for $18.00 (for 0.4 fl. oz.).

  • Anne is a dark, luxurious olive green with a mix of pink and gold micro shimmer. The shimmer seems really fine but plentiful; it’s like it was strewn through the color base. It has a very slight yellow undertone, but this is definitely more olive green than green-green. Two coats.
  • Catherine is a grayed purple with pink and gray micro-shimmer laced with the color. There’s a subtle cool undertone running through this, despite it’s eggplanty-red base. Two coats.
  • Catherine H. is a medium-dark periwinkle blue with lilac shimmer and iridescent blue microglitter. It is just the slightest bit purple-toned, but it’s still predominantly a blue shade. Two coats.
  • Jane is a muted gray-beige creme with flecks of pale gold microglitter hovering in the base; it’s the least glittery/shimmery of the four. I couldn’t detect any pink in this, even under direct light. Two coats.

I found the formula on these a little thinner than the majority of Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes that I’ve tried, which isn’t a bad thing, just something I noticed from the get-go. I only needed two coats for all four of these, though Jane may be one that you may go three coats on. Otherwise, these are rather pigmented on the whole. Application went smoothly with no streaking and even color and shimmer distribution.  They dry down to a semi-shiny finish, so I’d definitely recommend a glossy top coat for these to look their best (I used Zoya’s).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The colors are perfect for fall; they have a certain depth to them that makes them particularly elegant on nails.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Friday, September 24th, 2010


Zoya Fire & Ice Preview

Sneak Peek: Zoya Fire & Ice

I’ll have a full review with swatches of Zoya’s Fire & Ice collection on October 1st (can’t post anything more than this until then!), but for now, here’s a sneak peek at the nail plates for the collection.  How are we feeling about the six new shades so far?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010


Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan Nail Lacquer

Corals for fall? Who woulda thunk it?

Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan (108) Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.37 fl. oz.) is a bright true coral cream. I was torn between calling it a pink coral and an orange coral, because it seems to flitter between the two, which makes me realize, “OH! That’s a TRUE coral!”  Am I the only one who didn’t expect to see a coral polish come out in a fall collection?

In two coats, it’s very close to being opaque; you can kind of see my nail line, but it’s slight–I’d advise doing three coats to totally hide it, but I was happy with the effect of two myself. I find Dolce & Gabbana’s brush a little on the thick side, and it seems to hold a lot of polish in it. Thankfully, while it seemed like it would be hard to work with, I didn’t encounter any application issues; the color applied smoothly, and it didn’t streak or overflow on my nail. However, I think if you had smaller nail beds, it might be more problematic.

I went through several of my photo folders for possible dupes, and everything was either too far orange or pink but not quite like this. Not that there are no dupes out there, but nothing jumped out at me. Any suggestions?

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Though it’s not a color I think about for fall collections, it would be lovely for coral fiends… especially during these last days of summer.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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