Monday, September 26th, 2011


Izzy, Kissy, Holly

Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection for Holiday 2011

Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection includes three shimmery shades along with three glittery shades. Each color retails for $8.00.

  • Izzy is a darkened pink with bright fuchsia-pink shimmer and a metallic-like finish. I used two coats for opaque color. China Glaze Endurance is similar but has silvery-white micro-glitter so the finishes are quite different. It’s not as red-based as Zoya Gilda.
  • Holly is a luxurious emerald green with lighter green shimmer. Really rich and decadent–opaque in nearly one coat but I used two for swatches. Very Christmas-y green. It’s not like China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses, which has a lot of silvery-white glitter, nor China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, which has a much darker base. It is darker and smoother compared to Zoya Ivanka.
  • Noel is a metallic medium-dark silvered blue with silver shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. The base color seems similar to Zoya Crystal, but Crystal has gold sparkle in it.
  • Kissy is a pink and ruby red glittery layering coat with holographic bar glitter. I used two coats, and it was mostly opaque.
  • Rina is an emerald green shimmered base with emerald green and teal bar glitter. I used two coats, and it was more opaque than not but you could see some nail visible in spots.
  • Twila is a medium-dark blue shimmered base with brighter blue bar glitter.

The formula on the shimmery shades (Izzy, Holly, and Noel) is beyond phenomenal. I don’t know if I’ve ever used such a perfectly applying polish before. Each coat is extremely pigmented (I used two for all six shades here, but one is almost enough on the shimmery shades), but the consistency is fluid and flowing without being watery nor thick. I had really good wear out of Holly layered with Twila (seven days with minimal tip wear and no chips).

I was surprised at how opaque the layering shades were, actually. You could easily wear them alone, though I think they work really well layered, too. The only downside is removal is a bit messy–you can see as I swatch through more and more combinations using the glittery shades how I still have residue on my skin. It’s not impossible, but they take a little more work and time than a cream finish (which is par for the course).

I found the bar glitter to be fun and something I’ve personally never tried before, so I had some experimenting to do (will have a whole post up next with various combinations and layering, so stay tuned!). It’s perfect for the holidays, and it reminds me of tinsel.  You’ll need to make sure to take care of the edges so you don’t have any stray glitter pieces extending past the edge of your nail, but the glitter spreads evenly without trouble.  I can’t wait to rock these closer to the holidays!

The Glossover

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Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews

A+
The glitter shades are the most unique out of the bunch, but I still think the way the shimmery shades came out is great--and not necessarily shades I have dupes of. The formula is so easy to work with. I knew when I saw these at Cosmoprof, they would be good, but they're even better.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Nubar Pink Flame Nail Lacquer
Nubar Pink Flame Nail Lacquer

Nubar Pink Flame Nail Lacquer

Nubar Pink Flame Nail Lacquer ($7.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a red and orange duochrome. First it’s a vibrant, pinky-red, then it shifts to a coppery orange. I love the intensity of the polish; it’s so vibrant that it looks like it glows, which is difficult to capture in a photo! It’s shimmering without being metallic or overly frosty. The formula was a good balance between thick and thin, so the polish flowed easily and evenly across the nail and yielded opaque results in two coats. I usually get a full week of wear with minimal tip wear with Nubar’s polishes, including Pink Flame, which I tested a few months ago (and yes, only just reviewed now).

The Glossover

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Pink Flame

A+
This is a really lovely polish, and the fact that it is duochrome makes it more fun! The duochrome is noticeable, too.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 22nd, 2011


A Look at China Glaze Halloween 2011

Want a SPOOKTACULAR manicure? I couldn’t resist. :) I just had the chance to play with the Halloween kit, which contains one real color shade, two layering coats, and China Glaze’s Fast Forward Top Coat. I bought the other new color shades but am waiting for them to arrive still (boo, west coast!). The kit I have includes the top coat but there’s one available at Sally’s ($12.99) that also includes Cross Iron 360 instead of the top coat.

It’s Alive is a blackened-olive green base with murky olive green micro-glitter and larger particle glitter. I like how the base color looks like a pool of murkiness–I think the play of really light color compared to the base creates that effect. I only needed two coats for opaque color, and the formula was easy to work with; not too thick or thin, good flow, and coverage.  It is rather different from Zombie Zest, actually–darker and glittery.

Ghoulish Glow is a glow-in-the-dark top coat, which does really glow when the lights are all off. I didn’t like it much layered over It’s Alive; it gave It’s Alive a muted, washed-out quality and when I turned off the lights, it didn’t look significantly different than if I had just painted my nails with the top coat itself. I’d say if you want a day and night look, it’s not a bad compromise to layer, because when it’s worn alone, it’s not exactly the prettiest shade (an off-white). I had good results with both one and two coats of it (alone), but, as my boyfriend pointed out, it glows better if you let it soak up some light first.

Black Mesh is old news, but it’s a black crackling top coat. It crackled in large chunks and pieces when I did it over It’s Alive. I don’t feel like there is much to say on it; it crackled and dried quickly to a matte finish (so use a top coat for shine). It does have a cool effect over Ghoulish Glow, but I’d recommend doing two coats of Ghoulish Glow underneath and then layering Black Mesh on top.

It’s a fun set! I really liked It’s Alive’s formula and am happy to be able to report back on Ghoulish Glow… actually glowing. I attempted photos of it, but let’s just not revisit that–it was an exercise in futility and “this is so not worth it” amongst many expletives.

The Glossover

LE
coming-soon

It's Alive

A
Don't you want a BOO-tiful manicure for Halloween? What, no room for Halloween puns? The formula of It's Alive is amazing--one of the best China Glazes I've used, and I love their formula already--and Ghoulish Glow actually glows-in-the-dark!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer
MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer

MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.34 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” with a frost finish. Honestly, nothing about this screams “pale gold!” This is more like liquid, molten gold. It’s full-on gold to me with a rather metallic finish. It’s a yellowed gold with a burnt antique gold base color. It has depth, because it’s not all yellowy, but the formula was less impressive.  I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade, except China Glaze Tarnished Gold, which is a crackle polish, so it’s not much of a dupe at all. Would love to hear from you if you have a dupe! :)

The formula is thick, almost goopy, so it’s easy to get far too much polish on the nail than is appropriate for one coat. I only needed two coats for opaque color, which was great, but the thickness of the coats acted to emphasize the brush strokes in the finish. I really tried to even them out, but this shade also has a rather quick drying time (reminded me of how glitters dry so quickly). When you get it just right, it’s great (my ring finger looked the best, while my middle finger looked terrible).  I generally have good luck with MAC polishes (I haven’t had a bad experience with wear that I can remember) – they wear a solid week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

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Immortal Gold

C+
The color is more unique than not, so for some, that alone may be worth the more troublesome application. At least it has a quick drying time!

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

MAC Rain of Flowers Nail Lacquer
MAC Rain of Flowers Nail Lacquer

MAC Rain of Flowers Nail Lacquer Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Rain of Flowers Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.34 oz.) is described as a “blackened violet with violet pearlized pigments” with a frost finish. It is a repromote, but it has been a year since it originally launched (and it was limited edition then, too).

It’s a rich, deep dark violet purple with flecks of violet and ruby shimmer — very lovely and has lots of depth. I loved this shade when it first came out, but I had some application issues with the formula from this launch. Before, it was opaque in two coats, and it flowed well, but this time I had rather streaky and slightly patchy results in two coats so I had to do a third to give it a better end result. It seems like it would be rather opaque in two coats if it weren’t for the rather uneven appearance overall. The formula is on the thinner side but doesn’t seem sheer. I generally have good luck with MAC polishes (I haven’t had a bad experience with wear that I can remember) – they wear a solid week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

I wish it had more dupes, but China Glaze First Class Ticket was the best bet, but it’s not as dark.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rain of Flowers

C+
Such a shame! It's a gorgeous color and one that I don't have lots of dupes of, but the formula is difficult to work with. At this price point, it really shouldn't be an issue.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

OCC Pansy Nail Lacquer
OCC Pansy Nail Lacquer

OCC Pansy Nail Lacquer

OCC Pansy Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described simply as “purple,” and it has a cream finish. It’s a pinked purple with subtle red undertones. At first, I thought it was comparable to Urban Decay Miss T, but Miss T is so much brighter and deeper. Pansy is closer to Essie’s Grenadine, though Grenadine comes out pinker.

OCC’s formula is four-free (it does not include DBP, formaldehyde, toulene, or formaldehyde resin), and it wears a full week on me with minor tip wear (but no chipping). Pansy was just right in consistency; not too thick or too thin. On top of that, it was nearly opaque in one coat, though I swatched with two for good measure.

The Glossover

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Pansy

A
It's firmly between pink and purple; a lot of potentially similar shades lean too far in one directly. This is an easy purple for warmer skin tones to wear, too, because of the pink/red undertone.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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