Zoya – Blu

Blu was part of Zoya’s Spring 2013 collection called Lovely.  They really go for the pastels in their spring lines and that year was no exception.  As I remember, they had three cremes and three shimmers.  Not surprisingly, I preferred the cremes!  I think I got two of them and I really liked the third, Neely, but I already had at least three likely dupes, so I abstained.  I don’t know how many times I picked that up at Ulta and then remembered, “oh, yeah, I like this so much I already have half a dozen similar polishes”…ha!  I also have one of the shimmers (Piaf), but just because I got it on clearance and it was a vastly under-represented color in my collection.

So, Blu….  Surprisingly, it’s blue!  A gorgeous, light baby blue, even an exceptionally pale sky blue.  After the disappointment that was Avery, I felt it necessary to follow up with this one just to restore Zoya’s good reputation for killer cremes!  I think this picture is showing a bit lighter than it is in real life.

Blu

 

Now that my nails are starting to get back in form, looking at these older pictures is cringe-inducing!  But be stout of heart and hang in there because, as we’re so often told, it really does get better.  I also have a new cuticle regimen so those ragged polish lines have improved as well.

But, back to Blu.  For a light colored creme, this is an exceptional polish!  This is three coats, but I really do think I could have gotten by with two.  Just a few streaks on the first coat and, rather than it being too thin or chalky, it was on the thicker side. Not enough to be goopy, but enough to have really good control and fantastic leveling.

I liked it so much that I wore it for probably a week (which is unusual for me) and I freshened it up for a few days with a coat of OPI’s Last Friday Night from their Katy Perry Holiday Collection way back in 2010.  Yeah, it was a little bit beyond being capable of freshening….

Blu Friday Night

 

This is kind of a blue and pink-iridescent glitter in what I thought was a clear base.  But it does look like it darkened up the Blu a little bit (also this picture is truer than the previous one), so I think it might be a lightly tinted blue base.  I’ll have to delve into this more deeply when Last Friday Night gets its own review, but when I’ve used it by itself I haven’t seen any color change on the nail besides the glitter.  As you can see it’s more suitable as an overcoat, although I don’t recall it being marketed as such.

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Zoya – Avery

Sigh… I’ve been dragging my feet on this one and putting it off because it pains me to do it.  So let’s rip off that band-aid and just get it over with, shall we?

Avery was introduced in Zoya’s Winter 2011 collection called Feel and is now part of the permanent line.  It was soft pastel cremes, which would seem more spring to me, but that might just be because OPI brings out their Soft Shades in spring and I’m used to that.

Avery is a nude yellow-toned beige.  I seemed to recall that I didn’t like this polish for some reason, but couldn’t remember exactly why.  It wasn’t the color because I like the color (even though I usually prefer a pink or grey toned beige).  I like it so much that I sort of bought it twice.  I think it’s a straight on dupe for OPI’s Don’t Pretzel My Buttons from the Germany collection.  I can’t compare because they looked just alike so I gave away the OPI.  Why?  Because Zoya and OPI both do great cremes and I liked the name of the Zoya better.  Bad move, as it turned out…

So what’s the problem?  You’re about to see it.  If you have pearls, be prepared to clutch them:

Avery

It’s the lumpiest, gunkiest, grossest polish I’ve ever seen from Zoya.  And it’s even more egregious coming from them, because they’re usually so good!  I expect crap like this from cheap dollar polish from the drugtore, but Zoya??  Come on!  I don’t think it’s even necessarily the Feel collection itself because I have at least one other polish from that collection (Kennedy) and I have no problems with that one.

I even used this in a manicure a few months ago, but it came out so crappy that I thought it might be operator error and deleted the pictures and put it back in the To Be Tried.  So, when I recently did the right hand with China Glaze Angel’s Breath and it turned out horrible, I decided to just go ahead and do the other hand with Avery because it was no big deal if it came out bad because I was going to re-do my right hand, anyway.  And, as you can see, bad it did come out….

But wait!, you might say, this could have been operator error as well.  Perhaps your nails weren’t smooth and clean.  Perhaps your base coat was bad.  Perhaps you were tired by the time you got done with the travesty on the other hand and just didn’t do a good job of it.  Perhaps there was a full moon combined with a neap tide and the barometric pressure was dropping at the same time.  Yes, you might say that.  But I would counter with, “oh contraire, mon frere!”.  Here is the same hand right after I finished the manicure that immediately followed the removal of the Avery’s Angel Breath mess.  A manicure accomplished with a finicky white-based pastel, I might add.  Observe…

(Bonus sneak peek at an upcoming review manicure!)

Ggreen

 

Sorry, Avery, you’re going in the sad face column and are a prime candidate to be Wallflower of the Year.  Oh, who am I kidding, I’ll try it at least once more (probably after the next epic nail breakage) just to make sure.  Because you are Zoya, after all…..

butterLONDON – West End Wonderland

Well, well, well…here we are again.  Oh, Butter London, I just can’t quit you…  I’m going to keep using you until I love you, dammit!  Truthfully, I’m almost there, at $8.00 or less, anyway.  I got this one in a Holiday two-pack that was half off the regular price and then I got 50% off of that.  Butter London at $3.75 a bottle?  Yes, please!

West End Wonderland is a light gold glitter in a clear base.  I’m not really a fan of gold in general and gold nail lacquer even less.  But this always looks so tempting that it’s been on my “maybe” list for several years.  When the aforementioned deal came up (the other one in the pack was Come to Bed Red, which is another one that’s been on that list for a while). I finally took the plunge.

And I’m glad I did.  It looks pretty dark on the BL site, but in person it’s much lighter and brighter and even has a sprinkling of sparkly copper and pink!

West end wonderland

 

Here’s another shot to show how delicate it looks when it’s in the light:

West end wonderland1

Like most clear glitters, it goes on quite sheer.  In fact, I think that a light coat of this would be a great topper to a creme underneath.  Unlike a lot of clear glitters, it was perfectly opaque after three coats. It also came off really easy, not just swipe, wipe like with a creme, but it didn’t require soaking, either.  Also like most glitters, it wasn’t perfectly smooth but just one coat of Seche Vite fixed it up nicely and, since I always finish with the SV, it wasn’t even an extra step.

Will I wear this all the time?  No, because even though it exceeded my expectations I’m still not a real fan of gold glitter.  Will I wear it again?  Yes, it’s easy to apply and easy to remove.  I might even try it as a topper for some sort of holiday manicure come December.

China Glaze – Angel’s Breath

Angel’s Breath was a polish that China Glaze put out a few years back in a Breast Cancer Awareness collection, but is now part of the permanent line.  It’s a very sheer white with a slight hint of pink to it.  The only reason I have it is because it was part of a gradient set I picked up about two years ago.  Although it’s not anything I would have purchased on its own I do have a few sheers, including a couple pinkish ones, so  I’m not opposed to the color itself.  It’s just not anything special that would catch my eye and tell me that I must have it.

All of that to say as a disclaimer of sorts that I wasn’t prejudiced against this one before I even tried it.  In fact, since my nails are in the awkward stage I was looking forward to a soft shade and wasn’t even opposed to a little VNL in the process.   What I wasn’t looking forward to was four (!) coats of runny, cuticle flooding, streaky mess that left both bald spots and globs at the same time.  And, although it doesn’t really show in the picture, the VNL was still really prominent after all those coats.  There’s not a top coat on it because I could not get this mess off fast enough, so I didn’t even do both hands.

Even this Queen of Rationalization on why to keep something can’t recommend it as an undercoat, because the number of coats (four!) to even get a semblance of smoothness is way too many when you haven’t even added your main color or topcoat, or for a french, because after all those coats (four!) it’s not sheer enough for the nail color and not opaque enough for the tip color.

Angels Breath

 

But, wait! (you might say), the picture doesn’t look all that bad…  If you have the intestinal fortitude to zoom the picture, you’ll see the blobs, the patchiness, the raggedy cuticle line and and the complete non-leveling action, even after (did I mention?) four (!) coats.  I suppose it could have evened and smoothed out at some point, I just gave up after four.  Go ahead, zoom in, just don’t say I didn’t warn you…