Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Comparison: Chanel Black Satin and Zoya Raven

I mentioned in my post comparing blacks that Zoya Raven was the same color as Chanel Black Satin. Here's a comparison image:

Thumb to pinkie: (left) Raven (right) Black Satin, Raven, Raven, Black Satin, Black Satin.

Now, if I didn't say that they were different polishes, would you have been able to tell the difference? I wouldn't!

I ended up buying Black Satin a while back because someone had convinced me that it was the be-all end-all black polish of the gods. Sure, it's nice, but Zoya Raven is nicer.

I'm sure you all know this by now, but I'm not a fan of Chanel. I think their customer service is some of the worst I've ever experienced, and I don't think their polish is anything special. It's certainly not worth the price tag- it chips quicker than any polish I own (although, I hear buying Chanel's base coat will prevent this), the brushes are sometimes messed up and they don't apply as smoothly as a $20 polish should. I will buy the polish if the color is really special (Kaleidoscope!) but, still. I'd rather spend my money on Lippmann or Rescue Beauty Lounge.

Zoya, on the other hand, has rarely disappointed me. The formula of the polish is always smooth and manageable (with the exception of two colors- Bekka and Juicy), the price point is just right ($6, not $20!), and they really have a lot of great colors. I have only had to contact customer service once, so I can't really comment on the quality of customer service, but I have never had a problem with any of my orders- just a couple backordered polishes.

So, personally, when faced with the choice of two identical black shimmer polishes, of course I'm going to choose the less expensive one!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Alive!!

The other day I had mentioned that I was playing mad scientist and created a few of my very own frankenpolishes. I really wanted to make some colors that I couldn't buy anywhere. There are not enough greens, purples, glitters or holos in the universe, so I attempted to make a couple!

As always, please click the image to view full size.

#1. Bright purple holo with slight green duochrome, green, holographic and blue glitter.

#2. Medium green with varying shades of purple glitter.

#3. Dark forest green and gold holo.

#4. This isn't blue! It's bright purple! Bright purple with green duochrome and glitter.

#5. Metallic olive green with holographic glitter.

#6. Bright purple/blue duochrome loaded with iridescent and multicolored pink, purple, blue and holographic glitter.

#7. Deep green with holographic glitter.

#8. Luminous dark green shimmery metallic.

#9. My very own homemade holographic glitter topcoat! Unbelievably sparkly.

#8 with #9 on top.

So, how did I do? I love all my colors! I've since made a bunch more 'frankenpolishes' and I think I'm hooked! I love making my own colors!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sneak Preview: Zoya Winter 08/09 Flourish Collection

Just a quick peek at these, they look INCREDIBLE!!!

Thank you, Zoya, for the information and images!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Preview: Essie Winter 2008

From the press release:

August 2008, New York, NY – Shine through the glamorous season with essie’s new winter 2008 nail color collection that is seductive, charming and right on trend!

Tailored jackets, floral prints and structured shapes brought an elegant grown-up look to this season’s runways. From New York to Milan to Paris, designers favored a sophisticated, ladylike silhouette with tweeds and twin sets to full skirts and full collars. Best of all, the little black dress is back with an updated twist and colorful accessories to accompany it! Try sporting a red suede clutch or amethyst ankle boots - and don’t forget the “it” accessory of the season, nail color!

Winter’s divine fashions parallel essie’s new collection of six striking nail colors from classy reds to shimmery violets and a surprising burst of gold, proving that “without color, it wouldn’t be fashion.” - Essie Weingarten

Show off essie’s winter nail colors for an instant chic look - and make sure to use a base and top coat like essie’s first base base coat and good to go! for a flawless manicure and pedicure!

Essie's winter 2008 nail color collection includes:

Bold & Beautiful – Rich, ruby garnet

Damsel in a Dress – Oh-so-deep currant

It’s Genius – A violet quartz shimmer

Rock Star Skinny – Glamorous crimson red

Sexy Divide – Electric Violet Temptation

Shifting Power – Sizzling molten gold

Special thanks to Essie for images and information.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random Black Polish Swatches and Comparisons!

I've been working really hard on my swatching project lately and I feel like I'm finally making progress on the giant mountain of polishes I wanted to photograph. Yay!!!

I've actually been working on photographing my entire stash for quite some time, but the problem is my collection keeps growing. That, and I get distracted very easily lately... But wow! Progress feels awesome!

Anyway, here are a few swatches I wanted to share with you:

Zoya Suvi compared to China Glaze Gussied Up Green. Index and middle finger are Suvi, ring and pinkie are Gussied Up Green, thumb is (left) Suvi and (right) Gussied Up Green. You can see that while they're quite similar, they're definitely different enough to justify owning both. Love 'em!

Red glitters! Thumb to pinkie: China Glaze Ruby Pumps, New York Summer Fire Red Glitter, Hot Topic Red Glitter, Zoya Delilah, Zoya Jade.
All quite different! And all very pretty. I still haven't quite figured out the text thing yet, but I'll figure something out!

And there's recently been a lot of interest in black nail polish, so I've swatched a few.

Wet N Wild Fantasy Makers Black Pearl. No, it's not pearly, it's creme.... Weird name lol.

Black Rose. It doesn't have a label so I don't know the actual name or brand, but I found this on the Fantasy Makers halloween display at Walgreens!

Wet N Wild Fantasy Makers Black Magic (over Black Pearl)

Orly Goth. My favorite black with silver glitter. The glitter shapes are somewhat random and it reminds me of snowflakes.

Petites Black Star. Gorgeous black and gold glitter!

Hot Topic Black Glitter. No label so I don't know what the actual name or shade number is, sorry!

Hot Topic Black Iridescent. This is one of the coolest polishes ever. It's full of little flecks of multicolored glitter- they change to all the colors of the rainbow depending on the light! It's unbelievable. If you like black polish, you MUST get this one- it's only $2.99!

Chanel Black Satin. If you're thinking of getting this, don't. Get Zoya Raven instead! It's identical and costs $6. Zoya's formula is better, too!

ManGlaze Black. I adore this.

Misa Wishing On A Star.

Misa I Will Survive.

These are just a few of the black polishes in my collection. If there's a specific black that I haven't posted and you'd like to see it, let me know and I'll be happy to post it for you!

I also took another taupe and dusty purple comparison picture with some new colors I got, but I think I somehow deleted it! I can't find it anyhwere in my photo library or my nail photo folder! :( Oh well... Guess I'll take it again. *sigh*

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Random nail-related post of the day.

Today I went to Bark-a-paw-looza (yes, goofy name) which is basically a big dog party. While I was there, I stopped to look at the cutest little pit bull puppy ever and noticed that the owner of the puppy had a pretty wicked awesome variation on a french mani!

She had long, natural nails with black polish and metallic cranberry colored tips. How cool! If I had to guess, I'd say the tip color was China Glaze Vertical Rush. Needless to say, I was excited but too shy to say anything!

I had another nail encounter last week at Target- the cashier had neon skittles on her very overgrown acrylic nails. I told her I loved her nails. I did! They looked way better than the usual overgrown stark white and very square pink and whites I usually see on girls here.

So, woo! Random nail encounters!

In other news, I was bitten by the creativity bug today and mixed up a bunch of nail polishes. I've seen this referred to as "frankening" or creating a Frankenpolish. Frankenpolish, I love that!

I made a bunch of really cool colors and I can't wait to post my creations here!

Have you ever made a 'frankenpolish'?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Swatches: China Glaze Sleigh Ride

The Sleigh Ride trio is a set of three festive Christmas-themed glitters- Ruby Pumps (an old favorite), Tinsel and the brand spankin' new Emerald Sparkle. When you buy the trio they include a cute mini holiday-print nail file. Cute!

I'm freakin' thrilled to death with these. Emerald Sparkle could be my new #1 favorite polish. It's so unbelievably stunning- I can hardly contain my excitement over it. Observe:

Here's the set- three full sized bottles. Not minis! I had assumed they would be minis. They're not, yay!

Emerald Sparkle. I think my brain is going to short circuit. Am I really wearing this??? Is it real??? It's a deep emerald green base with tons of fine bright green glitter. It has depth, shimmer, sparkle, vibrant color, everything.... What's not to love? It even applied well! It only needs two coats, too. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ruby Pumps. Is it me, or is the new version slightly lighter than the old version? I'll have to go digging for my old bottle to compare, but it seems like it is. It's still gorgeous- golden orangey red glitter in a red jelly base. It looks lit from within. This is two coats.

Tinsel. A sheer silver glitter in what appears to be a sheer silver base. Very pretty, sparkly and delicate. Not too gaudy, either. The glitter is very fine, not chunky or rough. Takes three coats to achieve opacity.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how well these applied after all the bad luck I've been having with China Glaze lately. They were a little on the runny side, but that's definitely a huge improvement over the thick and gooey formulas I've been bitching about... All three of these polishes are winners- no complaints about any of them! They're perfect. Emerald Sparkle is pure genius.

I can even see glitter-haters loving Emerald Sparkle. It's too sexy not to love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Swatches: Lippmann Collection Winter 2008

Wow! These are gorgeous!

I apologize for the poor quality of these swatches. I'm having camera problems today! I think my battery is going bad- I charged it to full and on the second picture of each set it gave me a low battery warning and refused to focus! :(

Anyway, here they are:

Maneater. Beautiful reddish brown creme, or dare I say, jelly? It's dark but still looks brown and not black.

Holiday. Ooooooh! A bright pinkish-red with tons of sparkle- same vein as Shut Up And Drive and Lady Marmalade. I'm thinking this is a re-release because the name sounds familiar and I could have sworn I saw this in a holiday set at Nordstrom or something. I would totally wear this.

SUPERSTAR! Brown and gold glitter! It's a brown jelly base with golden brown glitter. I'm in LOVE with this! I don't own a single color that looks even remotely like this. A winner in my eyes.

Icing On The Cake. A pretty, delicate yet super streaky metallic silvery whitish pink. Very 'dainty'. Super streaky, though. This reminds me a ton of those old Sally Hansen Crystal Chrome polishes they used to have- I'll have to dig a few out to compare- could be a dupe of Petal Chrome?

And the Party Like A Rockstar set:

Comes in an adorable black/blue shimmery snakeskin bag. I love it, I can't stop admiring it.

Devil In A Blue Dress. Deep, dark navy blue creme. Looks almost black on the nail.

Good Girl Gone Bad. Stunning mellow burgundy glitter. I think I need nine or ten backups of this. I could wear this every day. It's so beautiful! And it was super easy to remove- rare for a glitter polish!

Overall, these ROCK! The formula is magical- applies so smooth and even, it's almost as nice as Rescue Beauty Lounge. The bottles themselves are great to look at, they're some if the prettiest bottles around. I would 100% recommend these for anyone looking for a more interesting glitter shade or a unique creme polish. Love them all. Great job, Lippmann!!