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.

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.

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.