From the official press release:
The whiff of cool ocean breezes tickling your hair and the gleaming sun kissing and embracing your skin as you deeply breathe in the fragrances of flowers in full bloom, this, to me, had always symbolized summer.
My husband and I, we’re earnest creatures of habit, but last summer we decided to abandon the norm (St Barth’s) and head to Venice and Sorrento, Italy. Venice is beautiful, however, it is THE tourists’ destination. Although my husband and I are usually failures when it comes to crowds, monuments and activities, we dove right in.
We got lost in narrow twisted streets surrounded by beautiful ancient buildings, we listened to the flapping of laundry hanging from the windows above, they waved cheerfully like flags of pride and welcome. I’ve broken out in toothy smiles, despite my seasickness, while watching the gondoliers in their red and white striped shirts. They appear in their hats and guitars serenading everyone, making amours—I could not believe that they still existed outside of those old Tom & Jerry cartoons (YUP, I’m that old—do kids today still watch that show?). It is so hard to describe the water—in certain lights it appears to be a sea green, and then it can change to look more like green tea.
We walked endlessly, navigating the crowds, taking selfies and drinking gallons of effervescent Prosecco. Afterwards, it was time for our annual vitamin D intake by the sea and to bake ourselves dark—Sorrento here we come!
When we arrived at Naples, three gel-slicked-haired Italian boys were huddled by their scooters smoking cigarettes. They were dressed to kill, dark sunglasses and all while drinking Fanta (Fanta?). On our way to the hotel, the traffic was bumper to bumper due to all the locals driving to the Amalfi Coast.
We finally arrived at the hotel, which sat atop a cliff. As we looked at our majestic view, the combination of rosemary and blooming Jasmine intoxicated my senses. Italy just smells different in an “I want to bottle this” kind of way. I love their honest, no-frills delicious food and the warm people who are quick to laugh loudly. What impressed me the most is that Italians love their bodies no matter what shape and size, they don’t wear cover ups, and even 70-year-old men walked around in tiny Speedos, strutting around with their arms around their women. Italians are perfectly seasoned life enjoyers.
Below our hotel by the ocean, we dined at restaurants sitting on intimate tight chairs on small decks. We baked ourselves in the sun and read our books under umbrellas. We ate and drank with gusto, and the next thing you know, just as in every vacation, the time flew. We had to say our goodbyes to all the people who had been feeding and caring for us, but when I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that Italian summer. Here are some of the colors which captivated me.
Gelato Al Cioccolato: I promise I will stop my obsession with anything that has to do with a taupe-brown goodness, but what can I say? When I tried the gelato from Venice (and it had been about a decade since my last Chocolate Gelato—I know, not a huge chocolate fan, and yes, I’m human) I was mesmerized by its taste and color. When I was mixing this color, there were definitely times it looked good enough to eat.
Bicicletta: In Sorrento, while strolling by the sea, I saw a precious, dark-haired little girl in a bikini riding a bike with training wheels. The bike was pale pink and it sparkled and twinkled in the sun, the matching streamers flying along with the girl’s confident peddling. I was reminded of my own six-year-old self; this was the exact color I had longed for instead of my own lime-green bike! This pale pink polish has micro glitters that will make you think of sugar and summertime.
Gondoliere: Yes, I do adore those red and white stripe-shirted gondoliers floating around the canals in Venice. Gondoliere is the most vibrant orange-based opaque glossy red nail polish I’ve ever mixed. It’s so sexy, yet classic at the same time. This has more of an orange base than Bangin, trust me, I tripped over myself endlessly comparing the two. This color is hot, like dreamy, steamy summer nights.
Oliveto: Did you know that Italian men climb ladders to carefully handpick olives for extra virgin olive oil? And that the olives that have the misfortune to be dropped on the floor are destined to become just plain olive oil? The smell of olive groves was something I want to smuggle back home. A wonderful multifaceted fading sun drenches those dancing, rustling olive trees. Oliveto is the perfect olive green that reflects the flash of rainbow and purple and periwinkle shimmers. It is a shimmery, yet less yellow version of No More War.
Motorini: If I ever learn how to drive a scooter, this would be the custom color I would mix for mine. A moodier, darker sister of our famed and playful Aqua Lily, this medium base of blue/aqua has a flash of surging fuchsia shimmer.
Melanzane: I love eggplants. In the markets, in pastas, roasted, and I can stare at them all day just looking at their lush colors. I always see the various tones of purples, vivid green stems, and sometimes there is almost a hint of a bluish tint on their skins. This glitter polish is just like that, you’re going to stare at your nails all day long— wait — make that all week.
Meow Meow: During our nightly strolls you could smell the day’s catch on the shores, and out of every corner, bright green eyes flash at you from the cats protecting their food bank. This dark hunter green shows off a finely milled glitter. It’s almost like Burn The Evidence but with a black glitter that casts shadows, the way a dark cat’s fur might look in the moonlight.
The formula one these was very good. The straight cremes applied the smoothest, but the shimmers and glitters weren't too far off from that. The shimmers have a more flowing consistency and aren't as opaque as the cremes, so I had an easier time with three super thin coats than two average coats. The glitters seem sheer enough to use as a topcoat, but I preferred them with three coats for a full-coverage finish. Drying time is on the long side of average.
I'm gonna call it right now; the sleeper hit from this collection is gonna be Bicicletta. It doesn't seem like much at first, but once it's on my nails I'm amazed by it. It sparkles and shimmers so magically when the light hits it, and the neutral base of the color is just right. I like all the shades in this collection, but that's the stand out one for me.
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(collection provided for review)