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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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.

OPI – I Have a Herring Problem

The two big deal OPI collections are the geographically themed ones for spring and fall (that actually come out a couple of months prior to the start of the season).   They have other collections they do every year, most notably the holiday and summer collections.  These have varying themes, most often a movie tie-in or a celebrity (their most recent celebrity is Gwen Stefani), but the spring/fall big guns are always centered around a geographical region.  Probably some of the hype over these is created by speculating on what city/state/country/region will be next.

The last couple years these collection have been a little hit or miss, but back in 2012 they were still going strong and the spring Holland collection was no exception.  There might have been a slight clunker or two, but no real flops and the collection as a whole was fabulous.  I probably have close to half a dozen of the Holland polishes and this is one of my favorites from that group.  I really don’t wear it that often, although I don’t know why.  That’s one of the fun parts of the Quest, discovering some real gems that I’d forgotten I even had!

I Have a Herring Problem is a medium, dusty blue with an understated shimmer of gold and silver.  Although it’s not even slightly teal, the blue leans green as opposed to gray (more on this in the following paragraph).  It’s a very wearable color, as the blue is about as close to neutral as blue can get and the shimmer is just a hint, rather than screaming GLITTER!!!!1  It was a bit on the thick side, but I think that was just due to the shimmer packed in there rather than it just being a straight creme.

Herring1

 

I really biffed the little finger on this hand, but I’m showing it anyway as you can see the shimmer a little better:

Herring

There is another shade in this collection called I Don’t Give a Rotterdam that, on first glance, looks just like Herring Problem.  I ordered them online and couldn’t decide between the two, so I got both (of course!). It’s funny, when you hold the bottles in separate hands they look identical, but when you put them together…

Herring Rotterdam

That’s Herring on the left and Rotterdam on the right.  See what I meant about the green in Herring?  You don’t even notice it until you hold it next to the slate blue Rotterdam.  In fact, I would have described Herring as slate blue before I compared the two side by side.  I think that Rotterdam also just has silver shimmer with no gold, but I can’t tell for sure until I actually brush it out.  When I do the Rotterdam manicure I’ll try to remember to use Herring as an accent nail in order to have a side by side comparison on the nails.

Here’s something else strange about these two; when I was looking for Rotterdam in order to compare, I couldn’t find it.  The label with the name has fallen off of the bottle and I kept picking it up and saying “no, that’s a gray shimmer”.  After I’d gone through the entire box of OPI I broke out the swatch sticks, compared and, sure enough, that “gray” was Rotterdam!  It didn’t look blue until I held it next to Herring.  Colors (and our perception of them) are weird….

 

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!

 

 

 

FingerPaints – Art Nouveau Nectarine

As promised, I’m attempting to get back on track with stuff that I’ve let slide during the last 9 months when life got in the way.  I’ve got a couple old ones to get out and then it’s time to get on the journey of getting my nails back into shape.  Since I cut them all off about 6 months ago, I’ve had maybe a cumulative month to six weeks where they’ve looked decent.  I’m now experimenting with some gel bases and different cuticle stuff, so that will be a journey all its own.  So far, I’m pleased with how it’s going, but that worm could turn at any time….

I only have a few FingerPaints, and that was because with a combination of a sale/coupon/total purchase % off, I ended up getting them for like $2 each.  As such, I don’t know a whole lot about the line except that it’s exclusively at Sally Beauty and apparently their conceit is that all of the polish names are “arty”, much like Zoya does the girls’ names thing (although that’s getting strained lately).

I was never really interested because I figured it was basically a glorified house brand a few steps up from Wet ‘n Wild and why pay China Glaze prices when I could get Sinful Colors or Salon Perfect for a buck or two at the drugstore?  I am glad I took advantage of the afore-mentioned deal, because I really do like the polish!  Although I have only added one bottle and a few stripers (I think I might have had these before I got any lacquers) to the four bottles I originally purchased, it isn’t for lack of trying.  I took I don’t know how many trips to Sally trying to get a few of the last couple collections and the ones I wanted were always sold out!  But it’s likely that there’s a FP or two in my future the next time there’s a BOGO or some equally ridiculous sale.  Now, onto the review!

Art Nouveau Nectarine is a color in the standard FP line.  I should have thought more about the word nectarine, because I was really looking for a peach and this is kind of a dark peach with a touch of orange, which I guess is kind of what a color called nectarine should be!  So, it took a while for me to actually use it because it looked too orange on my swatch stick.  However, I’m happy to report that the orange didn’t really translate that much to the nail.

Fingerpaints Art Nouveau Nectarine

You can see that it’s not a pure peach, but what saved it was how juicy it looked, like it was a solid jelly (it isn’t, just a plain creme).  I also didn’t realize how crunchy my cuticles were looking when I took that shot.  Who says that fancy retina pixels and super close up is a good thing?  I also don’t know what’s going on with the tip wear on the index nail, as I don’t remember having any wear issues and didn’t think I waited long to take a picture but it was over six  months ago and I’ve slept since then.

After a few days I was tired of it (as I usually get after 2-3 days), but either didn’t feel like or didn’t have the time to do a new manicure, so I freshened it up with a coat of Colorful Collage!

Fingerpaints Colorful Collage Nectarine

This is a standard glitter in a clear base with a borealis type color of silver/blue/pink.  I’m not going into an in depth review on that, as I want to do separate reviews for the glitters and sheer holos with a variety of looks.

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….

image

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.