Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sally Hansen Project Runway

Sally Hansen Project Runway. Isn't this spectacular? Look at all the little gold sparkles!! This one was apparently only released in Canada (WTF, Sally?!). A dear friend gave me the entire collection and I've been meaning to do a full review of it, but I can't believe I haven't posted about this green yet! A lot of people ask me what my favorite polishes are and I have a hard time answering. The answer is: It changes every day! No... more like... every 15 minutes. This is one of my newer favorites. It's totally a fantasy polish. It's like a deep, mossy, magical forest, or maybe a fish tail swimming through a murky green lake with only a few rays of sunshine glinting off the water. I could go on and on about this polish... It's not just an amazing color, it evokes lots of pretty imagery in my head. And that's something important to me in a polish- the ability to not be 'just a color', but to remind me of things, bring back memories or inspire me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zoya Flash Collection Summer 2010

I could have sworn I posted these last night... And then I checked this morning and they weren't there! What the crap... I'm dreaming about blogging. >.<

Zoya Flash collection, part two of the Zoya Summer 2010 set.

Dana. Bright (but not super bright) fuchsia/dark pink creme. Not a whole lot I can say to describe it... It's pink, it's bright, it's creme. Haha! Woo!

Jancyn. First of all... I must ask... Jancyn? I know Zoya loves their wacky names and spellings, but is Jancyn actually a name? Jansen? I can't figure it out. Anyway... It's a light orange sherbet creme shade. More Halloween/Autumn to me than summer, but I think that's why I like it so much! I have a thing for awesome pumpkiny-oranges. The formula on this one was the only one that was iffy- a tiny bit streaky and thick. Not super bad, but definitely different from the other polishes in the collection.

Jolene. Hmm... for some reason this reminds me of having orange facial hair. Tee hee! They should have swapped names with Jancyn! It would have been so funny! Anyway, this is also a bright pink, but it's more in the light-to-medium shade range, a little touch of cool tone to it. I dig it. It's Barbie pink.

Maura. My personal favorite of the collection. It's a summer red. Bright, creamy, noticeable. It's not straight red to my eye, it looks to me like it's a coral-red or has a little bit of orange tone to it. Love it. Reminds me a little of America, but this is more warm toned. I'm wearing this right now, actually.

Perrie. Another strange name. I've never met anyone named Perrie. Does Perry Farrell count? Okay, enough about the names. I'm surprised that this picture came out so true to life. Purples usually don't. This is one of those light lilac-lavender purples that we've been seeing a lot of lately, but this one is a little warmer and easier to wear. See how it doesn't give me corpse-fingers? It's very subtly more red-toned than almost all the other light purples I've seen lately. It's a tad bit darker as well. Very wearable for sure.

Robyn. I know this looks kinda neon here, but it's really not as neon-looking in real life. It does look really bright, but it doesn't dry matte or anything. This is a medium sky blue shade. It's about a shade darker than most of the other sky blues I have- it's darker than Zoya Yummy and a bit more saturated. Looks like it has a subtle turquoise tone to it as well. Gorgeous. Supremely gorgeous.

The formula was good. The only one that gave me issues was Jancyn, but a drop or two of thinner would solve the thickness issue. The others were pretty much perfect. Good texture, good opacity, these pictures are all two coats with the exception of Jancyn which is three. Good dry time as well, nice and fast. No bubbling or anything worth noting.

So... they're not quite neon but they're not pastel either. I'm glad to see that they didn't go with the flow and to the neon/pastel route! I've really been into my pastels lately but I'm very happy to see something fresh. I don't think any of the shades are totally unique... Maybe Perrie is. But I love how they look all lined up like a rainbow.

And that's it... Zoya Summer 2010!

I may snap some indoor photos of all twelve at some point because I think they look even better indoors and I don't feel like I captured all the quirks of these shades in my pictures. The Sparkle collection especially, cause it's totally awesome.

(These were sent to me for review)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Zoya Sparkle Collection Summer 2010

I am so happy to see this collection. All glitter. All of it! GLITTER!!!

And thankfully I had a little sunlight to capture the sparkle. My pictures don't totally capture the iridescent, glittery, fish-scaly sparkliness of these, so please just use them as an approximation.

Alegra. For some reason, this color kept messing up my camera! It's not quite so red, it's more of a bright magenta. Bright magenta jelly-ish base with a mixture of pink iridescent and clear/white 'fish scale' like iridescent flecks. Bright... richly colored... SPARKLY. This is a pink I can wear.

Charla. A mermaid in a bottle? This is a blue-turquoise sheer base with tons of silvery, golden, blue-ish, greenish iridescent glitter. This is more traditional glitter- circular metallic particles. Lots of pretty green/blue/gold duochrome that didn't quite come through in this picture. You can see some of the turquoise/green flip and the gold flecks in the left side of the picture, though. Better in real life.

Gilda. Another pink I would totally wear! It's not as deep/dark as it seems in this picture (I think it's my pasty white fingers throwing the color off LOL) but it is a bright, cheerful, girly hot pink with the iridescent 'fish scale' type shimmer like Alegra has. It's not as bright as Kiki. It is definitely loud, though. Kinda 80's awesome.

Ivanka. Is this the color of money for a reason? Heh. But seriously, this is awesome. It's mainly green with a little bit of a blue duochrome and lots of golden speckles. Another mermaid-type polish. It's GREEN. Enough said.

Mimi. Okay, you know the drill. It's purple. Picture it being less blue-toned and more red-toned. To give you an idea of how this looks in real life, it's not bright like Nubar Violet Sparkle but it is a lot like Milani Totally Cool but with less duochrome. That being said, Totally Cool was probably my favorite drugstore release last year so of course I'm going to adore this. It's purple. It's glitter. It's iridescent. It's basically screaming my name!

Nidhi. This is interesting. It's a variation on the red/glitter combo, but it's UNIQUE! I'm pleased. It's a light, warm red creme base with gold microglitter and little silvery iridescent flecks. This is the most opaque shade of the collection. Very dense base. Exotic looking, like gold jewelery with red stones.

The formula on these was great. No problems. Some of the shades are slightly sheer while others are completely opaque in two coats. I did three coats of all just for my own sanity. Three coats looks pretty great with all of these, too. Deepens the colors. Dry time was very fast, faster than the average Zoya polish. Removal was super easy. The glitter in these is really small so it doesn't take much effort to remove. The only downside I experienced was that Charla gave me major smurf-fingers when removed. It took a little extra remover and a hand-washing or two to fix, nothing permanent.

Overall, AWESOME!!! GLITTER!!!! It's like Zoya has been spying on all of us and seeing how excited we get about colorful glitters. I love seeing glitters in bold, vibrant colors. These definitely fit the bill for bold and vibrant! And they're uber-sparkly. I'd even say they're more sparkly than the winter Ultra-Glitters. I'm a happy camper. I'm actually feeling a little spoiled with the massive amount of awesome glitters coming out lately. Won't hear me complaining about that!

This is only part one of the Zoya Summer collection. Part two is the Flash collection- six colorful cremes. I'll have that review up as soon as I'm done editing the pictures.


(These were sent to me for review.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nubar Prism Collection Review (About damn time)

Can I just tell you all how much I loved hearing your favorite things to use? That was awesome. It's the entire reason I started this blog. I love talking to other people about their favorite beauty products. And now I have a mile-long list of things I want to try, haha! Thank you :)

Anyway, I finally had a glimpse of the sun just long enough to photograph these like I wanted to... Unfortunately that was two months ago! Oops. Whatever. I shouldn't feel bad about posting a collection late... But I do.

Absolute. Pretty light turquoise blue holo. This makes me think of mermaids and sparkling water. The holographic effect is subtle but adds a little bit of 'magic' to the nails.

Brilliant. Mauve pink holo. It's pink.

Essence. Warm pink-peach holo. This was my least favorite of the collection. The base is oddly dense and frosty, almost like a metallic peach frost with little holographic particles. And, as you are all unfortunately aware, dense frost base plus glitter equals chunky, lumpy-looking finish. The color isn't my favorite either. Too warm for my skintone.

Gem. Mousy grey/taupe base with warm red/brown flash and chunky holo. This one is my favorite of the collection, with Jewel coming in close second. It's holo and duochrome, suh-weeeeeeet! The hologram effect in this is different from a lot of other holos I have. It's really densely packed medium particle glitter, not smooth holo platelets like other holo polishes. It seems like it would look chunky, but it really doesn't. Maybe a little, but there's so much holo that it just looks like crazy rainbows.

Jewel. Greyed brown base with warm red-gold flash and chunky holo. Just like Gem but brown, same chunky holo particles, same subtle duochrome flash. Love it love it love it.

Prize. Reddish pink with chunky holo. I was really hoping this would be red, like a really rich deep true red, but it's not quite there. I still love it, it's crazy holo! It has the large particle holo grains like Gem and Jewel.

Spark. Warm light tan-brown holo. Sounds like an oxymoron, but I'd call this an "office appropriate holo". It's light and kinda almost blends into my skin. Very strange but still cool!

Treasure. Light lavender purple holo. This is so delicate and feminine, it's not 'me' at all but I can't stop looking at it. It reminds me of this girl I went to high school with... Yeah, that's a useful description! But really, this is an 'airy', sparkly kind of fairy-tale purple. Super cute.

These have a unique type of holo. I had anticipated them to all be that smooth, thin metal-foil-like finish like Nubar Reclaim, but none of them are. Half of these are somewhat similar to the OPI Designer Series 'light' polishes, like Sapphire or Chiffon or Shimmer. The base is a thick, translucent jelly-like finish with somewhat sparse holo particles suspended in it. The end effect is more scattered than linear.

The other type of holo in this collection is the big-chunky-particle type. I don't own too many holos like this, so I'm not sure what it most resembles. I've heard that some Japanese polishes have a similar type of holo. The closest thing I can think of that has similar holographic effect is Massini Slamming Red/Purple Medallion, but those are all glitter. These Nubar ones are not entirely glitter, they just have a ton of holographic grains all packed together. It has a slight chunky look to it, but when it catches the sunlight the holo effect is insane. Very mesmerizing.

The formula was a bit of a surprise for me. I'm very used to holographic-finish polishes being thin, dense/opaque and foil-like. These are quite sheer. All pictures here are of three coats. I think they needed all three coats as well. Two coats had just too much visible nail line for me. There isn't a consistent texture throughout the collection. Some are thick, some are thin, some dry quickly, some take a bit longer. The formula isn't bad, it didn't really give me any problems, it's just inconsistent, that's all.

My only criticisms of the collection are personal preferences. I would have liked to see more unique shades (more mauve pink holo??) and I would have also liked to see a stronger holo effect. I don't know, I just have pictures of Nubar Reclaim dancing in my head... I think it's set a new standard in my mind for Nubar!

(These were sent to me for review.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Topcoat Fail

For the past few months I've been trying out a whole bunch of different topcoats and basecoats and I think I've found a few new loves (but that's for another post!) but I've also found a few losers.

I took these pictures a couple months ago to document the wear of two of the new topcoats I was trying and it's a good example of how the quality of your treatment products can affect the wear of your polish:

Here's Redi topcoat on day two over a manicure of China Glaze... something, I forget actually... with a coat of the Goldie blue jelly glitter on top. A little tipwear but no chips. Note the nail art. It was not really intentional, I had to cover up a chip on the right hand because I was too lazy to re-do my manicure (but hey, I shouldn't have to re-do on day one anyway!) and I did the left hand to sorta match.

Here's Diamond Dry topcoat on day two over the same polish. The polish on the entire corner of the ring finger nail chipped off hours after applying. But, the Redi topcoat didn't chip at all. How insane is that?

Ironically, it was the Diamond Dry topcoat I was most excited about trying and it turned out to be the worst one. Ugh.

Now the Redi topcoat... I love it. A lot. I think it's going to be my new Seche Vite. I'll save that review for later, I just wanted to show these funny pictures.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Curious- Favorite Items?

It seems like winter is finally starting to disappear.... *whew*

I've noticed that during my little break from swatching, I keep reaching for the same products. Even when I have lots of options available to me, these things keep me coming back for more.

What I'm currently loving:
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream. This is something that I always use until something new and shiny comes along and I forget all about it, but then once I use it again I wonder why I ever used anything else. It totally fixes dry hands the first time I use it, even in the winter when my hands get all scratchy and nasty.

Nubar Violet Sparkle polish. I can't get enough. It's so perfect. It's at the top of my favorites list right now and every time I look at it I fall deeper in love with it. At this rate, I'll finish my bottle before summer! Must get a backup.

Frederic Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream. Compared to all my other hair serum type products, this one makes my hair the shinest and softest. I'm not crazy about the smell, but the end result outweighs that. And I just noticed that they changed the packaging... I hope they didn't reformulate or something.

Zoya Remove+. I don't use Remove+ when I'm swatching because it's too nice and I don't want to waste it. But for normal manicures, I could use this for the rest of my life and be happy. My nails and cuticles actually look better after I use this (my regular swatching remover doesn't do that!) and it works FAST, especially on glitter. And it smells amazing. I want a 50 gallon drum of this stuff. I don't normally throw around the word 'best' (I believe 'best' is in the eye of the beholder), but yeah, this stuff is the best remover I've ever used, hands down.

So that's what I'm currently obsessed with, and now I'm curious (and always looking for something new and awesome to shop for *cough* obsessed *cough*).... What are your current favorite items? Doesn't have to be nail stuff. I'd like to hear!

And I have a lot to catch up on now. Can't say for sure I'm ready to be back swatching/blogging at 100% yet, but I do have a few things I want to post (including a couple new collections!)

Thanks for all the well wishes and kind words <3