Archive for June, 2008

Zoya Color Lock System & Upcoming China Glaze Collections

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

First is first: Checkout Scrangie’s Post on Upcoming China Glaze Collections. Can I just tell you guys how ridiculously excited I am for all of these collections!!!!!! FORREST GREEN!!! (Well ok, I wish it were creme but I can deal with shimmer!), BLUES… A WHOLE COLLECTION OF BLUES. EVERYTHING LOOKS AMAZING. So…overwhelmed…with… joy… *gasp* cannot…. contain… self… *dies.*

*revives*

Ooook then.

Now for the main topic of this post – the Zoya Color Lock System. This is kind of long so bare with me.

Where to start? Zoya contacted me about some of my negative reviews on the Polish Addict concerning their polishes. I felt in general that their polishes took too many colors to achieve bottle color and I’d heard from other nail board girls that Zoya polishes chipped easily. My hatred for Zoya was infamous, and so the joke about Zoya having killed my family began.

I decided to give Zoya the benefit of a doubt and try out their polishes using their Color Lock System. Scrangie got really bad bubbling with her test run. (I swear I’m not blog-stalking her but for a full feel of the product I recommend reading both reviews.)

My results with Anchor and Armor were very different. I only got bubbling on two nails and as you can tell from the picture it wasn’t very noticeable. Scrangie’s bubbling was so bad she actually had to change her polish. I only changed my polish because I have Nail Polish ADD, the bubbles bothered me in principle but they were subtle enough that I didn’t feel the need to whip out the remover. Like Scrangie, I got good wear results after two days. No tip wear at all, I usually get tip wear instantly because I type like my life depends on my word per minute count. I did get top layer scratches which is a problem I don’t usually have with Seche Vite, my holy grail top coat.

I think application style accounts for the difference in results. I usually do very fast manis, but the night I tried the Zoya Color Lock System I was also watching Stephen King’s Misery (my other beat is horror movies, go figure). So I applied a coat, got distracted by the movie for a while, then applied another coat, so on and on. The nails that I got bubbling on, left hand middle and ring fingers, were also the nails that I had to redo due to an unfortunate denting incident that occurred after the movie ended. I redid them quickly because it was getting late. Speed of application is definitely the bubble culprit here.

I also disagree with Scrangie about Hurry Up. It dried my nails to the touch fairly quickly. However, my nails were still vulnerable to denting within, I’d say, about 15 minutes after application of the drops. That amount of time is not unreasonable but I wish it worked faster. I don’t usually use drying drops so I didn’t like the way it made my nails feels after using it. I think people who usually use drying drops would be pleased with the Hurry Up’s results.

Finally, Remove is, hands down, the best nail polish remover on the market. I received a mini bottle of Remove as a gift with a Zoya purchase in the past. I loved it then too, but there was only enough in the bottle for 2 or 3 removals. So when it ran out, I just sort of shrugged and went about using my regular off-brand cheapie remover. Then, I swatched 12 different polishes this past Sunday. I used Remove after each one and my cuticles are intact. Granted my cuticles are shockingly resilient to my constant abuse even though they do dry out a bit during swatching. Normally, after and during a marathon swatch session I have to double up on cuticle oil, creams, etc. Remove didn’t dry out my tips at all, *at all*. I think once this current bottle runs out, I’m just going to suck it up and splurge on the huge bottle of Remove. To me, it’s worth it because I change my polish a lot more often than the average bear. Plus, it smells good.

As an aside, I really like the names of the these products: Anchor, Armor, Hurry Up, and Remove – very clever.

Those are my preliminary results. Before I can say anything more definitive, I will need to do a comparison between the wear time I get with the Zoya System versus my usual base and top coats.

 

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Disclosure: These products were sent to me for review by Zoya.

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Zoya Gossip Collection Swatches

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I know Scrangie has already done swatches and comparisons of these but here’s my take on them.

The application was excellent on all of these. This collection didn’t have any 4 coaters (hallelujah). My sole complaint is a superficial one: I absolutely loathe that this collection was named after the ultra-wealthy rabble from yet another reality tv show that glorifies being worthless and vapid. (No offense to the people who like the show.) Regardless, the colors are very pretty and within the spectrum of this summer’s trend palette. Also, I must say that this collection is very well arranged; all these colors look like they belong together. I really appreciate when companies put thought into color arrangement – a collection is not a collection in the absence of a common theme or connection that relates the colors to one another.

Zoya Audrina is a pinkish purple borderline neon. This is 2 coats, it applied really well. This swatch was taken with a coat of Zoya Armor since the color is little bit neon, it dried matte.

Zoya Elodie is a bright salmon color. This swatch is two coats plus one coat of Zoya Armor. This is the only one I wore as a mani – it’s actually a funny story. It looks demure and inoffensive in the bottle so I thought to myself… I could probably get away with this one at work. Wrong. It’s much brighter on the nail than it is in the bottle. I liked it – but totally not work appropriate with my nails as long as they are right now. I totally could have gotten away with it if my nails were shorter.

Zoya Heidi is a creamy redish orange. The picture makes it look like a coral but it’s actually much more orange in person. I think it would be an excellent color for people who want to try orange, but are extravagant color shy.

For me, Zoya LC was the stand-out color from this collection. This swatch is two coats. LC is a very bright fuchsia red. The application of this color was actually the best of all the colors in the collection – very smooth and creamy.

Zoya Lo is a standard bright mid range pink, colors like this are always popular but this season they’ve been all over. Since I know this might come up in discussion, let me preemptively say that no this color is not similar to China Glaze Mom’s Chiffon. To me, it looks brighter than OPI Strawberry Margarita, OPI That’s Hot Pink, and OPI In-dia Mood for Love. Although it is my personal opinion that it’s not worth owning all of those (I know that the entire nail board will probably disagree with that statement). For example, I own OPI Koala Bear-y and OPI That’s Berry Daring so with the addition of Zoya Lo, I pretty much have that color range covered, no need for the others. This swatch is 3 coats.

And finally, Zoya Whitney. This is 2 coats. This color, like the previous one, has also been very popular this season.

Man I wish I could get away with wearing this kind of stuff. : ( I’m totally missing out on all these awesome summer colors. *kicks dirt* *grumbles* *stupid professional environment, stupid* */grumbles*

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Zoya.

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China Glaze ImMaterial Gurl Collection Swatches

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Wow. I haven’t been this impressed with a collection in AGES. I love all the colors. The application of most of the colors was amazing, like butter. This collection hasn’t gotten that much hype from the nail polish community (yes, there is such a thing) and I’m a little bit at a loss as to why because every color is worth owning, each one unique and beautiful.

I also really love that China Glaze made minis of this entire collection. Most companies make minis. It seems to me that Color Club and Essie choose the colors that are expected to be most popular and sell those in mini packs. OPI seems to pick 1 popular color and 2 useless colors and offer those in a mini pack with a completely useless mini Rapid Dry. China Glaze is the only company I can think of that is offering entire collections in mini form. I love this concept because I like to own entire collections but without mini packs, doing so is restrictively expensive. Well played China Glaze, well played.

China Glaze Atelier Tulle was my absolute favorite from this collection. The application was -*PERFECT*-, on par with Rescue Beauty Lounge’s formula. Recently I’ve been wearing a lot of really difficult to apply polish so I had forgotten what applying a really excellent polish is like – it’s fun instead of frustrating. I also really love *LOVE* the color, the image simply does not do it justice. It’s been a really long time since I’ve worn a color that made me just stare down at my nails constantly in awe. I also felt like it was work appropriate even though I would not consider it to be a traditionally professional looking color. Great, just great.

China Glaze Designer Satin is my second favorite from this collection. Such a deep dramatic dark fuchsia – same amazing application as Atelier Tulle.

China Glaze Heirloom Organza is really unique. It’s sort of a dimmed grayed-out brown. It took 3 coats and was moderately hard to apply, but the final product made it worth it.

China Glaze Mom’s Chiffon is probably the most accessible color in this collection. Excellent application.

China Glaze Second-Hand Silk actually caused a bit of a stir online. The promotional images made this color look like a grayed out lilac so a lot of people were really disappointed to find that it’s actually a barbie pink. I had a tough time with the application. It wasn’t streaky but the formula was too watery so I got a lot of cuticle drag. A third coat evened everything out.

Finally, China Glaze Vintage Crepe. This is a muted orange. Like the others, excellent application.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by China Glaze.

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Long Over Due Link Wrap-Up

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Well first, there’s no point in linking to a specific article, just read Scrangie’s entire blog.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic gives us some tips on how to do a perfect post-mani clean up and swatches of the Essie Neon Shorts collection.

Necessary Makeup reviews Incoco Dry Nail Applique Strips.

Nails of the Day shows us the difference between the seemingly similar OPI She’s Golden and OPI Oh So Glam!

See the waaaay to expensive Chanel Robertson Blvd. Collection on Ballz and Thinner.

And finally the new Dior Golden Nugget on Steph’s Closet.

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Confessions of a Nail Polish Addict: I Don’t Wear Strengthener

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I’ve gotten a few emails asking about what products I use on my nails. While I’ll be the first to admit that I own way too many lotions, creams, ointments, balms, etc., I own almost no strengtheners. When I first started doing my nails, I wore a coat of strengthener with every mani. Eventually, I started to notice that my nails broke more easily than before I started to wear a lot of nail polish. Also, the surface of my nails began to change. My nail beds looked damage all the time. I just assumed that such was the nature of wearing nail polish. Then one day I read this article on the Beauty Brains.

I decided to take them up on their 4 easy tips. I already used a crap ton of hand creams and the like, so no change needed there. After years of being duped by Knox’s Gelatin Nail Strengthener, I already knew that gelatin was ineffective on nails. I wanted to try using less remover but that was, and still is, an impossibility. So the only tip left was to get rid of my strengthener. I started to use a sticky base coat instead.

The results were not immediate. In fact, I’d say it took about a year for my nails to be noticeably stronger. Whereas last year I had to have short nails because my nails were constantly breaking and *horribly* peeling, I now have really long healthy nails – so strong, that I haven’t had a serious break in months (now that I’ve said that, watch one break tomorrow.) I do get occasional peels, but nothing that can’t be easily taken care of with a buffer.

Of course, I’m not saying that my progress was due solely to my abandonment of strengthener. Especially because some people swear by their strengtheners, I’m not discrediting them completely. I suppose what I’m suggesting is… if you haven’t had luck with strengtheners, try giving them up indefinitely and see what kind of results you get. I’m a firm believer that when it comes to nails, different things work for different people – so skipping the strengtheners, which can be hella-expensive anyway, might be worth a shot.

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Confessions of a Nail Polish Addict: I Don’t Wear Strengthener

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I’ve gotten a few emails asking about what products I use on my nails. While I’ll be the first to admit that I own way too many lotions, creams, ointments, balms, etc., I own almost no strengtheners. When I first started doing my nails, I wore a coat of strengthener with every mani. Eventually, I started to notice that my nails broke more easily than before I started to wear a lot of nail polish. Also, the surface of my nails began to change. My nail beds looked damage all the time. I just assumed that such was the nature of wearing nail polish. Then one day I read this article on the Beauty Brains.

I decided to take them up on their 4 easy tips. I already used a crap ton of hand creams and the like, so no change needed there. After years of being duped by Knox’s Gelatin Nail Strengthener, I already knew that gelatin was ineffective on nails. I wanted to try using less remover but that was, and still is, an impossibility. So the only tip left was to get rid of my strengthener. I started to use a sticky base coat instead.

The results were not immediate. In fact, I’d say it took about a year for my nails to be noticeably stronger. Whereas last year I had to have short nails because my nails were constantly breaking and *horribly* peeling, I now have really long healthy nails – so strong, that I haven’t had a serious break in months (now that I’ve said that, watch one break tomorrow.) I do get occasional peels, but nothing that can’t be easily taken care of with a buffer.

Of course, I’m not saying that my progress was due solely to my abandonment of strengthener. Especially because some people swear by their strengtheners, I’m not discrediting them completely. I suppose what I’m suggesting is… if you haven’t had luck with strengtheners, try giving them up indefinitely and see what kind of results you get. I’m a firm believer that when it comes to nails, different things work for different people – so skipping the strengtheners, which can be hella-expensive anyway, might be worth a shot.

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