Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

ZOYA has launched their summer collections, Chit Chat (pictured above) and Gossip (pictured below). Chit Chat includes six shades of fun colors that are perfect for summer. My favorite shade is probably Elke, which is a hot rose metallic (pictured on my thumb). My pointer finger is donned with Annie a bold berry metallic, while my middle finger has Lianne (an ultra tangerine metallic). My ring finger has Bekka, which is a cool chartreuse metallic (and surprisingly not as neon as you would think), with my pinky colored with Erika, a soft pink metallic (sheerest of the bunch). My other thumb (not pictured here, but you can see it in the secondary pictures) is Gaia, a white metallic.

I would say Gaia is my least favorite, just because it seems rather unoriginal compared to the other colors, and I personally wouldn’t wear all-white nails, and I never have time to get a manicure for French nails, either. I like the orange in Lianne because it isn’t so “in-your-face,” and Annie has an awesome duochrome shimmer to it.

Gossip was inspired by the girls of The Hills, and I know we have some fans of the show around these parts. I actually LOVED every single one of these polishes because the pigmentation was insane. Seriously, I could have used just one coat and been on my way. As creams, all of these have such a beautiful finish with no shimmer, but they don’t look flat or dull. I do, personally, use the Zoya Color Lock System as my preference for base/top/dry coats, but these nails are pictured without any base or top coat. You really do get what you see in the bottle! On the left most thumb pictured, I used Audrina, which is a red-purple cream that is gorgeous and reminds me of lazy days on the beach; while my right thumb has Whitney, a hot fuchsia cream, which is just magnetic. Pair it with your Heatherette goodies! My pointer finger has LO, an electric cerise cream, my middle finger has Elodie, a bold poppy cream, my ring finger has Heidi, a hi-beam orange cream, and my pinky has LC, a summer red cream.

Which Halloween Mask entry was your favorite?

  • "Spring Mask" (43%, 113 Votes)
  • "Leopard" (22%, 58 Votes)
  • "Abstract" (17%, 44 Votes)
  • "Wicked French Woman" (6%, 15 Votes)
  • "Jigsaw" (5%, 14 Votes)
  • "Zombie" (4%, 11 Votes)
  • "Mermaid Punk" (3%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 262

My favorites were… well… all of them really! I don’t normally wear bright reds or oranges, but I do love LC for its wearable shade of bright red (if that makes any sense!). Both Audrina and Whitney are super fun colors, and Audrina isn’t too bright in the least (while Whitney may be a touch more “hey, check out my nails”). Elodie is also quite pretty as a brighter coral, and I suspect I will be rockin’ this one a few times on beach-going days.

Zoya polishes are free of Toluene, Formaldehyde, and DPB (the “big three”), and I own numerous bottles and have not been disappointed in their application, color, or quality. They last a full week on me when used with a base and top coat with no chipping and minimal tip wear. Get yours at www.zoya.com.

See more photos… Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Move over Blue Satin, I’m ready to rock Dior’s Poison Blue ($19.00).  Chanel’s Blue Satin catches the light of camera flash well, because it manages to pick up on a touch of shimmer that you cannot see whatsoever in real life.  Poison Blue is this gorgeous dark blue-black shade that adds drama to nails, and it has a definite duo-nature to them.  Indoors, the color is nearly black with blue undertones, while in sunlight, the blue tones stand out more.

There is no shimmer to this polish, it is more of a high glossy finish.  I wore my Dior manicure for a week through moving apartments, and it held up amazingly.  This stuff just would not chip, and it was really hard to even try and chip it myself (hey, I like to test polish durability).  Despite packing boxes, unpacking them, assembling/disassembling, etc., I hardly had any tip wear either (say what?!).  This is reason enough to opt for Dior Poison Blue over Blue Satin!

While Blue Satin has a thicker consistency than Poison Blue (thinner), Poison Blue is also glossier in its finish than Blue Satin.  Personally, I preferred the consistency of Poison Blue, because it allowed me to do my dutiful two coats of polish without feeling like I might be wasting some (at $19 a pop, I don’t want to waste a drop), whereas Chanel’s was thicker to the point where one coat was almost enough, but I prefer two coats to maximize durability and lasting power.  The picture above shows half a nail swatched with Chanel’s Blue Satin with the right half in Dior’s Poison Blue–just remember, the shimmer in Blue Satin is not visible with indoor light, and it better be a bright, sunny day if you want to see it at all!

Friday, January 25th, 2008

For Spring 2008, Zoya has two different collections, each with six shades, Blissful and PurityBlissful is a beautiful collection of creamy pastels, while Purity is composed of sheerer pastels ideal for manicures (and I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have visions of bridal nails with these colors, too).  Today I’d like to show you swatches from Blissful.

It was actually really hard to pick a favorite shade out of the six, because I loved them all!  Let me say that one really versatile color is Penelope, which is a darker pink-peach color that’s incredibly creamy and goes on smooth.  It isn’t too warm, so I think even cooler-toned hands can pull this one off with no issues.  I think anyone entranced by pastels will find Laurie a very lovely shade of pale, milky pink.  It is also a cream finish leaving fingers looking incredibly soft and feminine.  Miley is much like Laurie, only it is a milky pastel lavender.  Lulu is a warm shade of peach that’s soft and subtle, and I see this as a great shade for spring, but also a nice way to transition into summer.  Zanna is a mauvey-purple with pink in it, and it also has a creamy finish.  I found this applied so easily and well, with no streaking or worries about distribution.  Felicity rosey color with golden shimmer, which makes it completely unlike the other five in the Blissful family.  It’s a fun color, and I like that it is the odd-one-out with its shimmery composition.  Overall, I liked the buildability and opacity of these pastel colors; they give me a way to get less in-your-face nails while still getting a good bit of color when I don’t want to opt for straight out sheers.

Check out swatches of the other five polishes… Continue reading →

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Spring 2008 nail trends are obviously going sheer rather than bright pops of color (though not all brands are following this trend–China Glaze is most definitely not!).  Essie gives nail polish fans six lovely sheers to choose from as spring arrives in beautiful hues of soft pastels.  These polishes apply easily, smoothly, and just to show what kind of color you can build, each color was applied with three coats (keep in mind that these were done strictly as swatches, so the aren’t perfectly polished!).

Pictured above, Hi Maintenance, was my favorite of the six, because it was such a flattering pink.  It wasn’t so cool that it looked awkward on my warmer skin, but it also wasn’t a warm pink that looked a bit too peppy for my tastes.  Hard To Getis a brighter pink that’s fairly opaque–it kind of reminds me of Don’t Be Shy blush from MAC’s Barbie launch–it was really close to being my perfect pink, but it was just a few shades too bright to be that absolute perfect pink.  Secret Affairis a fun, shimmery pinky-white shade that looked surprisingly nice with my skin; I thought something with that much white in it could never look right all over nails.  Looking For Loveis a lovely lavender color that was just gorgeous, but I found that it did apply a bit streaky in terms of depositing the color – I think you may have to be a bit more meticulous when applying this particular shade, but it’s too beautiful to dismiss.  Body Language was a flatter white with gray-purple undertones; kind of an odd color for my nails personally, but I see it working better on lighter skinned hands.  Great Expectations has a silvery-purple cast to it, and like Looking For Love, it didn’t apply as evenly as the others did.  I found this shade to be too cool for my taste, making it my least favorite.  Overall, I liked that I could build up these sheers with three coats to get decent color, since I don’t usually wear sheers.  On the same note, for more professional or subdued affairs, sheers are fabulous choices, and this gives you a polish that can multitask!  Also, sheers are amazing on top of a more opaque polish to give it a different sheen or color.

Check out swatches of the five other polishes… Continue reading →

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Chanel’s Aurora Blues spring 2008 collection is centered around shades of icy blues, including Blue Satin, which is a dark, rich navy blue that’s nearly black with extremely subtle shimmer. It is already sold out at many online retailers (including Chanel’s site), but it is available at department stores already — I picked up mine just this Wednesday. Unfortunately, while they had the stock available, there was no display, so I couldn’t play with much and only purchased Blue Satin. I apologize for my shoddy application, in advance, as I was just testing it out and cleaned it up later.

What makes it worth it: If you are a fan of Chanel polishes, this one will not disappoint you in color pay off, texture, or application. What I have always liked about Chanel polishes is how much depth each color has, and I love that even one coat can almost be enough. Two coats makes it absolutely dreamy, but you would never even have to consider going for a third with a Chanel polish. The color itself is a gorgeous shimmery navy-blue-black in the sunlight, but in regular, indoor lighting, it looks like a matte blue-black (more like black with undertones of blue).  I have heard some compare this to OPI’s Russian Navy, but I personally find that Russian Navy has too many purple-blue undertones and reflects to be a good substitute–at least not in terms of similarity–because Russian Navy is divine in its own right. The polish hasn’t chipped yet after three full days of wear, and I actually do not have much visible tip wear, either, which is surprising. This polish definitely holds up in terms of wear. Blue Satin is also ultra glossy, which I love, and the shine hasn’t worn off over tmie, either.

Why you might pass: I wish it had more noticeable shimmer, especially in regular lighting.  Sure, it’s nice that there’s a different look to my nails in sunlight, but considering I’m indoors the majority of the time (hello, it’s cold outside!), I’d like a bit of reflecting shimmer from time to time.  Also, the price of Chanel polishes are expensive: $19.00.  This is not exactly an easy price to pay for a bottle of nail polish, especially when there are so many shades that are less than $6 a pop (so you could end up with three for the price of one Chanel polish!).  I personally wouldn’t say that this shade is worth the $19.00 unless you’re a polish fan and addicted to blue hued lacquers.  If you have the money to spend, go for it, because the shade is lovely, but there’s no shame in admitting that it’s out of your budget!

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Gloves in a Bottle Review

Gloves In a Bottle Shielding Lotion ($12.95)

Gloves In A Bottle is a shielding lotion — it bonds with the outer layer of your skin and protects it from irritants while locking in your natural oils and moisture — the reason why dermatologists recommend Gloves as an effective dry skin treatment.

What makes it worth it: If you are familiar with our review on Skin MD Natural, you’ll know that I believe in the powers behind shielding lotions. This is a lightweight cream that you apply to your hands that dries in less than a minute. You don’t feel greasy or oily afterwards in the slightest, which is an absolute requirement of any good hand cream. (Literally, I applied it to test the scent again, and it was dry before I formulated my response.) I know I don’t want to have to sit around waiting for the cream to dry when I have things I need to be doing. Depending on how dry your skin is, you may apply this every four hours or be able to go with once or twice a day (morning and night). Shielding lotions help your skin to hydrate itself rather than artificially moisturizing it. Gloves In a Bottle also does not wash off, but rather comes off as skin cells are exfoliated.

Why you might pass on it: I was quite happy with this product as a hand cream, but the scent could use some work. It isn’t strong, so it isn’t enough of a downside for me to pass on the product itself, but it isn’t particularly pleasing if you put your nose to your hand. It smells kind of clinical or medicinal, which I’d rather have than a bad smell!

Find this product at www.glovesinabottle.com.