Friday, November 13th, 2009

Zoya Ultra Glitter Collection: Nova

Zoya Nova Nail Polish ($7.00 for 0.5 oz.) is one of three shades from Zoya’s Ultra Glitter Winter 2009 Collection. It accompanies Astra (review) and Luna (to be reviewed).

Nova is a warm-toned raspberry pink with a raspberry-colored jelly base and darker, deeper pink glitter mixed in. It’s a pretty shade–much more subtle and darker than Astra, which is more of a bubbly pink in comparison. I’m surprised Zoya launched two pinky shades in a three-bottle collection (I would have expected three entirely separate shades), but it’s a nice shade of pink nonetheless. The glitter distributes fairly evenly even if you don’t wait too long between coats.

Zoya’s formula is one of my favorites, as it’s chip-resistant and gives me week-long wear without worry. I find their Color Lock System to be one of my favorite base/top/drying coat combinations to use for polishes. Their remover is fantastic, and I use it for removing all my glitter polishes without much trouble at all!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love glittery nails, Zoya’s Ultra Glitter Collection may be right up your alley.

Availability: Zoya

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


China Glaze Atlantis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Atlantis Nail Lacquer ($3.38 to $6.99) is just one of fifty new specialty shades slowly being released by China Glaze.Atlantis is a semi-opaque subdued teal jelly base with teal and multi-colored glitter laced throughout. I found two coats gave you a decent look, but three would really give you a more opaque look. The formula was easy to use, and I found it to be chip-proof and lasted all week. I like the color, but I’m confident that there are other shades I’d probably love more so. However, after trying this shade, I really want to check out Medallion, Solar Flare, and Treasure Chest…

Anyone else try China Glaze’s new glitter shades?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re still lovin’ glittery nails, be sure to check out the slew of new shades from China Glaze!

Availability: 8ty8 Beauty, Head2Toe Beauty

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Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


Lippmann Collection: Happy Birthday

Lippmann Collection Happy Birthday Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 oz.) is a splattering of multi-colored, multi-sized confetti glitter in a clear base. Even though it’s a clear base, and a part of me wishes it had some sort of colored base, I think this is actually incredibly fitting and suits the name “Happy Birthday.” It’s definitely a party on your nails! Lippmann lacquers always last really well on me with an exceptionally durable and chip-resistant formula.

I find Lippmanns are some of the easier glitter polishes to remove as well–I know I’ve said it before, but my removal process is to soak a cotton pad in remover, then press against the nail, repeat on all the nails, then go back and start to actually remove the polish.

The only kicker of this product is the $18 price tag (which is notably $2 more than their usual shades), which is particularly hefty and starts to creep into the higher-end territory. I don’t really think any polish at $18 or $28 outdoes a polish that’s $8 so significantly to literally merit the extra bucks. As always, I compare brands against their competitors, and Lippmann seems more in line with the price points of Chanel and Dior lacquers.

Bottom Line: In the end, Lippmann is priced as a more high-end polish, so if it’s worth it to you, go for it — and if it’s not, no shame in that game. I will say I don’t have anything even remotely similar to this in my collection, and I haven’t (personally) seen anything like it, either.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For fun, party-tastic nails, Happy Birthday is a winner in every way–except for the price.

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Zoya Astra Nail Polish ($7.00) is one of three shades of Ultra Glitter. Astra has a warm-toned pink jelly base with deeper red small, square glitter mixed in. It’s very sparkly and fun, but I kind of wish it had a more opaque base. I never thought I’d be such a fan of glitter polishes, but they’re such a nice way to add punch to your wardrobe without feeling like it’s ever too much. Zoya’s formula is always tops, and I always get great wear whenever I use their polish and Color Lock System (which is my go-to base/top/drying coat system).

Zoya also includes something I think is really handy on their website:

Tone: Warm
Finish: Glitter
Color Family: Pinks
Intensity: 3 (1= Very Sheer to 5= Very Opaque)
Original Collection: Ultra Glitter

I just think it’s informative, and it just shows that this isn’t designed to be ultra opaque but somewhere in-between sheer and opaque. I like that they let you know whether the shade runs cool or warm, because sometimes if you can’t buy in person, every extra detail they give you helps you make a better decision about whether to buy or not.

I didn’t find it too difficult to remove either, which is often a problem with glitter polishes. It’s not as quick and easy as a typical polish, but it really didn’t bother me or make me groan either. I always soak a cotton pad in remover, gently press against the nail, then I do the same for the others, and finally go back and start removing.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of glitter polishes, Zoya’s Astra is a fun shade of pinky-red for the holidays.

Availability: Zoya

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Lippmann Collection Funky Chunky Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is third polish from Lippmann’s Celebrate Set, which also contained my new polish love Ruby Red Slippers and the gorgeous Superstar.

I had several readers ask me why I didn’t review this polish alongside the other two, and the simple reason is it looked unexciting in the bottle, so I didn’t reach for it when I was trying out the other two, much more eye-catching shades! A follow-up to that would be that it’s such a subpar lacquer from Lippmann that it’s such a real disappointment–not just within the set, but overall. Lippmann has such a fantastic formula and color selection, I’m quite surprised at how dismal Funky Chunky is.

Funky Chunky is a black jelly base lacquer with black hexagon glitter bits. It’s very similar Ruby Red Slippers, but it lacks dimension, pizazz, and pretty much anything that would make it pop. It ends up looking like a sloppy black polish, because the glitter is nearly undetectable in terms of sparkle – it just looks uneven and messy. The black base doesn’t go opaque in two coats either, so you do need to go for three thinner coats for better coverage.

One of the big reasons this product just doesn’t hit the mark is that the chunky glitter actually makes the black base look sloppy and messy–uneven without any reason as to why it would be that way.  Glitter polishes always tend to have a bit of an uneven texture and feel to them, but you can see the glitter so it’s all good.  Since you can’t visibly see the glitter here, it just looks like you don’t know how to paint your nails!

Normally, a Lipppmann lacquer is priced at $16 a pop, so you pay an extra $3 for the other two and you do get this polish. It’s disappointing, but maybe you can add some extra glitter and make it pop for fun. Call it a chance to experiment!

Bottom Line: It’s a bad sign when glitter isn’t even detectable with flash photography (which can always amplify the sparkles of glitter!). This polish is just a total miss for me, and if you could purchase the other two separately, I’d advocate for that, but since you can’t, I still think the set is worth every penny for the two standout shades Ruby Red Slippers and Superstar.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I don’t recommend this shade whatsoever on its own, but I do recommend the set it comes with overall, just because the other two shades are amazing.

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Lippmann Collection Superstar Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is another shade that’s part of Lippmann Collection “Celebrate” Nail Set. It also includes Ruby Red Slippers and Funky Chunky (which is similar to Ruby Red Slippers, except it’s a black jelly base with black glitter).

While I don’t love Superstar quite as much as Ruby Red Slippers, I do love it quite a bit! The black-brown jelly base with the small-sized muted copper-orange glitter particles looks ridiculously perfect for the fall/Halloween. In fact, as soon as I finish up swatching up a few more polishes I’ve been meaning to review, I’m going to be doing an alternating manicure of Ruby Red Slippers and Superstar for Halloween. Ahh, so perfect!

Superstar goes opaque and full-on glitter within two medium-thick coats of lacquer, and it dries pretty fast, actually, even without a fast drying top coat.

As with any glitter polish, removal isn’t the easiest or quickest, but I consider it something that just goes with the territory. I know some dislike the clean-up rituals associated with glitter polishes, but I didn’t find it too time consuming or difficult. My technique is to take a cotton pad soaked in remover and let it sit on my nail for about 2-3 seconds (just press the pad against the nail), then move to another nail, repeat… and then go back and remove the polish.

Superstar is currently only available in the Celebrate Set, so value-wise, it’s a good deal, since you get three for $35, rather than $16 a pop.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I’m slowly falling in love with Lippmann lacquers. The glitter is so sparkly and glitzy–I die! If you love glitter, this is a great set.

Availability: Nordstrom