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…..

Nail Art – Little Mermaid Party

This really isn’t nail “art”, but it best fits this category because it isn’t a review and the manicure was put together for a specific look and occasion.

The occasion was my niece’s first birthday party and it had a Little Mermaid theme.  I could have gone all fancy with iridescent fish scales and some black outlines, but I didn’t actually do it until the night before.  So the plan was to use the Mermaid colors of purple and teal with some of the same colored glitter and sparkles on top.  But did I have four different lacquers in the appropriate colors that would work together?  What a silly question….

Mermaid teal

Mermaid Belinda payton

 

The base color for the right hand was OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop, a dark teal creme from the Fall 2010 Swiss Collection topped with Art You Wondering, a turquoise/teal micro glitter in a clear base from FingerPaints.  This was also the accent nail on the left hand.

The left hand was two colors from the Zoya 2013 Zenith Holiday Collection.  The base was Belinda, a dark purple metallic while the topper was Payton, a jelly with a slight holo that was more of a violet purple.  The accent nail was teal, to match the other hand.

I really like how it turned out, so much so that I might use the same colors for a straight on manicure.  But I’m still going to get more advance notice for this year’s theme so I can top this one!

 

 

 

A Few Words on … Antici

…pation!

So my nails had gotten to the point where they were just hanging on by a wing and a prayer.  Remember the just hang in there posters with the kitten on a clothesline?  That was  my nails.  Except more like this.

Two of my nails got caught on something and got torn off backwards right down to the quick within three days of each other.  One of them even involved bleeding, both involved swearing.  That’s when I decided they’d gone past the point of saving.  So I pulled a Snake Plissken and hit reset on everything.  That’s right, they all got cut off and filed down!  You know how whenever you see (accidentally, of course) a picture of a celebrity without makeup and your involuntary reaction is always ‘Yikes!’?  Well, here’s a look at the current state of my nails in all their naked, unvarnished glory:

WARNING:  The following material may disturb more sensitive viewers.  Viewer discretion is advised.

 

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Yikes!

 

Two days later, this appeared in my mailbox:

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Yes, that’s right.  The new Zoya Magical Pixie Dust Collection for Summer!  Want a closer look at these beauties?  Of course you do!

 

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Ordering to delivery time?  Slightly less than a week.  And yet somehow within that time frame I managed to completely forget that I ordered them and hacked off all the nails.  I couldn’t wait two days so that I could at least just swatch them on my remaining good nails?  Apparently not.  I blame a fit of momentary madness.  Like when you reach that point where you just can’t take it anymore and your hair must be cut NOW!  So you hack it off with some scissors/a butcher knife/whatever’s on hand with the thought of ‘whatever, it’ll grow back’.

So whatever, they’ll grow back.  But I want to see what my new polish looks like NOW!  And on my actual nails, not on my swatch sticks.  NOW!

Remember that Bette Midler song “From a Distance”?  I remember reading (in a book about pianos) that Julie Gold wrote that song one night when her piano had just been delivered and all she could do was look at it.  I can’t remember whether it was a new piano or a new place and her piano had just arrived.  Either way, when a piano has been moved you have to wait until it settles and adjusts to the temperature and humidity of its new environment before you can play it.  So she spent the night just looking across the room at her piano and not being able to touch it.

So that’s me and my Magical Pixie Dusts right now.  Did I happen to mention that the new OPI Coca-Cola Collection is currently winging its way towards me as well?  Whatever, delayed gratification builds character.  Or, as that noted philosopher Kanye Clarkson Nietzsche once observed, that which doesn’t kill me can only serve to make me stronger.  Yeah!

So what does this all mean in the bigger picture?  It means that after I finish off the reviews I have in the queue that it’s going to be time to roll out all the nudes and neutrals while waiting for nature to take its course.  For even more entertainment, I suggest starting a drinking game that involves taking a shot every time I manage to come up with yet another way to describe beige…

 

 

Zoya – Ivanka

This was my manicure for Saint Patrick’s day.  Even though green is not the color of St. Patrick (it’s a shade known as St. Patrick’s blue), I am merely an American of Irish descent, so when in Rome….

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Ivanka was part of  of Zoya’s Sparkle Collection for the summer of 2010 and is now in the permanent line.  I have another one from that collection (also permanent) called Charla.  But that’s a special one that I save for when I need to feel extra good about myself, so let’s hope I don’t get to that one for a while yet!

Ivanka is a beautiful emerald green.  Not that shade of emeralds that you and I own, but the shade of emeralds that most people couldn’t afford in two lifetimes. My birthstone is emerald, so I have one emerald ring just for form but it’s somewhat small and more of a leaf green.

Zoya classifies this as a metallic, but it’s got so much more going for it!  It’s packed with so much micro glitter that it’s practically a foil, but so smooth that it’s more like a glass fleck.   It’s just like beautiful foiled wrapping paper that has just the slightest touch of a lighter green-gold as you wave your fingers back and forth in an admiring manner.

For so much micro glitter it’s a tremendously easy formula to apply.  The first thin coat gives a nice, sheer look and is even light enough that you could wear it over a lighter color if you went really thin.  A reasonably thick second coat would have given it full opacity, but I went with three thinner ones instead, just because I like to use the third one as a finesse coat rather than a coverage one.

 

ZOYA – Stevie

There’s always some “new and exciting” trend in nail polishes. For the last year or so, it’s been textured polish.  I personally don’t care for them for a few reasons.  First and foremost, I like my nails to be shiny and glossy with a glass-like appearance.  I live for top coating!  Matte, crackle, textured…I just don’t go for the no topcoat required stuff.  But it’s not just the look that gives me trouble.  I’m a picker.  If there’s the least little bump or snag, I’ll pick at it constantly.  Not only is picking at stuff rather unseemly, it does a number on the nail/s doing the picking.

But they say there’s an exception for every rule and this is mine.  Zoya Pixiedust.    I love Zoya polishes, which is the only reason I even paid any attention to them, and the collections they come out with have some really gorgeous colors.  Not only were they gorgeous, they have mad sparkle without having separate bits of glitter added to them!  Pixiedust is aptly named.  They remind me of the coloured sugar that you use to decorate Christmas cookies.

Another plus is that, among all the textured polishes, I think Pixiedust is probably the smoothest.  Not too lumpy or rough, kind of like granulated sugar.  So, no topcoat be damned, I toss on a couple layers of Seche Vite on the top of it and, while not perfectly smooth and glassy, it’s enough so that I’m not tempted to pick.

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I love pretty much any and every shade of purple and this is a wonderful lavender or lilac colour.  Not too light, but not so dark that it borders on a straight purple.  I haven’t tried any other brand’s textured lines, so I have nothing to compare it with, but it goes on like a dream.  Although it’s not as smooth as a normal polish, of course, it just glides right on with no lumps and globs.  I can get a really thin coat on with no problems at all.  It will still be pretty sheer at two coats since it’s a pretty light colour and I think this was four coats, but it dries super fast so it’s no big deal.

I hate that my crap pictures aren’t showing the crazy sparkle on this one.  All of my camera software is on my laptop and my screen went out a few weeks ago.  So I’ve just been making do with my iPad.  With no flash, some pictures come out pretty good and some…not so much.  I’m thinking about making a good light box and hope that does the trick, because it really is so fast and easy to upload them right from the iPad camera app.