Archive for November, 2008

The Evil of the Hard-to-Find: Essie VIP

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Some people take great pride in searching out hard-to-find colors. I used to think I was one those people but lately obtaining particularly difficult hard-to-finds has lost its luster for me. I think the extra hoopla surrounding hard-to-finds takes the joy away. Essie VIP was a color I thought I would never see in real life. A MUA friend encountered 7 of them in a beauty shop and she graciously decided to pass them a long to anyone who wanted one. I got my bottle for a fairly reasonable trade but when I finally got it, this color I had wanted so much… I was sort of underwhelmed.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous color and it’s easy to see why this is one of the most highly sought after discontinued Essies. I suppose this color is yet another casualty of my antipurpleitis.

I’m going to hold on to it until I return to my normal purple-loving self. If I still don’t love it then, I’ll pass it on to someone who really wants it.


Really *Really* Late to the Party: Zoya Pulse Collection

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I have a two-fold apology for everyone. First, I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last update. I had to do a bit of traveling for that interview and my immune system held on just long enough so that I was mildly healthy for it. I started coughing up a storm the minute I walked out of the office. I’ve done nothing but watch Six Feet Under and X-Files for the past 2 days. Second, I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to post the Pulse collection. I know everyone has seen it already but since Zoya is launching a promotion, I figured now would be a great time to play catch up. If you like this collection you can get it for free by entering the code PULSE at check out when you purchase the Zoya Color Lock System on, or you can enter VIBE for Vibe Fall Winter Collection, or FLOURISH for Flourish Holiday/Winter Collection.

Overall, this collection isn’t for me but I can definitely see why everyone else went ga-ga over it. It’s shimmery goodness, so if you’re into shimmer – this collection is for you.

Zoya Mikka is a deep frosty plum, almost borderline metallic. This is 2 coats with 1 coat of Zoya Armor as a top coat.

Zoya Rihanna is aubergine with magenta shimmer. This is 2 coats with 1 coat of Zoya Armor as a top coat.

Zoya Sloane is dark plum with purple shimmer. This is 2 coats with 1 coat of Zoya Armor as a top coat.

Zoya Blair is a vivid burgundy with red shimmer. This is 2 coats with 1 coat of Zoya Armor as a top coat.

Zoya Colbie is brick red with red shimmer. This is 2 coats with 1 coat of Zoya Armor as a top coat.

And finally, Zoya Jacy which is a reddish medium violet with somewhat subtle purple and magenta shimmer. This is 3 coats with 1 coat of Zoya Armor as a top coat. This color is probably my favorite from this collection.


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


The Polish Addict’s Top 20 Polishes of All Time: #20 OPI – Tickle My France-y

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Twice a year, the girls on the Nail Board vote for their top 20 polishes. I’ve been promising you guys my personal top 20 for a while and I’m finally getting around to it. My top 20 has some classics in it but there are also a few colors that people might not expect. First up is # 20, this year’s OPI Tickle My France-y.

This color is so subtle, so chic, just perfect.  As completely ridiculous as this may sound, I rarely wear colors more than once but I’ve worn OPI Tickle My France-y a whopping 3 times. This color has become my go-to ‘professional’ color. As some of you may know, I’m applying for a position as an Assistant State Attorney. It’s a 3 round interview process. I’ve worn TMFy to two of the interviews already and plan to wear it one more time this Monday for my final interview. I almost feel like this color gives me confidence, maybe even a little bit of luck. If I get the job on Monday, I guess we’ll know for sure. Even if TMF-y isn’t bestowed with magical job granting powers, it’s still an excellent color. It definitely belongs in everyone’s collection. (You can read my original post about TMF here.)


Confessions of a Polish Addict: I, Personally, Don’t Care for Pedis but I Wish Men Could Get Them More Often

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

I don’t like feet. I neglect my own. Their hideousness is such that they are not meant to see the light of day. I wear the same color on my toes for as long as I possibly can, usually, two weeks. I also don’t wear flashy colors on toes very often, although right now I am wearing Color Club Screamin’ Fuchsia. I have a simple albeit shallow reason for that, flashy colors clash with most open-toed shoes. Now with that said, I think that pedis are a great way for men to enjoy nail polish (even if it’s just clear). Believe it or not, there are a lot of guys out there that wear polish on toes for their private enjoyment.

I wish it was socially acceptable for men to wear nail polish. I think the new niche market would give nail polish companies far more latitude to generate unique colors. Take ManGlaze, for example, that company specializes in matte finish polish marketed for men. I would love to see all companies tap into different colors and finishes. My support for gender equality when it comes to nail polish is why I love to see articles like this one by Darren Garnick. Darren not only got a fish pedicure, a brave feat in and of itself, but also chose OPI Osaka to Me Orange instead of just a clear coat. Darren’s been all over the nail polish blogosphere lately with his interesting nail polish related articles[1. He was just kidding when he called me "one of the most influential nail polish bloggers in America." Haha.]  which are all linked on Scrangie’s blog. Darren is helping to bridge the gender gap by writing about polish, I think that’s really great. If you do too, you should drop him a line and tell him to keep fighting the good fight.


Avoiding Chiptastic Tips

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Despite the ridiculous chipped nail polish trend reported by the New York Times and sported by Vanessa Hudgens, most go to great lengths to avoid chiptastic tips. The majority of emails I get from people who frequent my site concern methods to avoid getting chips. I get these emails so often, I decided to just concentrate everything I know in one handy post for your convenience. These are all suggestions that have worked for me and people I know. In truth, this is a very experimental process. Ultimately, you just have to wade through the information and find the combination of methods that works best for you individually.

1. Be realistic. Are you’re a potter? Do you chew on your nails? Do you type 24 hours a day? Do you use your nails like a Swiss Army knife? (Use a real toothpick! Open cans with the sides of your fingers! Don’t tap your nails on hard surfaces!) Do you hand-wash dishes multiple times a day without wearing gloves? If you said yes to any of that, there is no magical combination of products, tips, or tricks on Earth that will help you achieve a super long lasting manicure. You have to change the way you treat your nails. One simple solution is to just wear gloves while doing activities that are harmful to your nails, it makes a world of difference. Sure, you’ll get made fun of, especially if you have male roommates but whatever.

2. Is it the surface of your nail bed? Most people immediately assume that chips are caused by bad product formulas but sometimes the culprit is the surface of your nail bed. If your nails peel, the unevenness can cause the polish to chip. The best way to deal with this is to lightly buff the peeled portion of your nail until it’s even. Be weary of over buffing, there a few things in this world more horrifyingly painful and uncomfortable than over buffed nails. I got chills just typing that sentence. If it’s a really bad peel with very pronounced unevenness, lightly buff and use a ridge filler (Barielle Camoflauge and Seche Ridgefiller are addict favorites.)

3. Is the surface of your nail bed clean? Oils on the surface of your nail bed can prevent the polish from properly adhering to the nail. Some people like to use vinegar, 100% acetone with no moisturizers, or alcohol to clean the surface. In my infinite nail snobbiness, I like to use specialized nail preps like Rescue Beauty Lounge First Step Nail Prep or Zoya Remove+).

4. Ok now the big question… is there something wrong with the products you are using? Most likely… no. I really don’t believe that any product is inherently bad. I don’t believe any polish, no matter how cheap, has an inherently bad formula. Any polish regardless of brand, when properly applied, should give you at least two days of perfect wear. There are some considerations though, some products won’t work for certain people but they may work wonderfully for other people. Your lifestyle and personal body chemistry will affect the results you get from any product.  You just have to find what works best for you and that requires trial and error.

5. What to try during your trials: Hands down, you need a sticky base coat. I personally love Color Club Stuck on You and Nail Laminates No More Chips. Other girls really love Creative Stickey and Orly Bonder. Pretty much, every company makes a sticky basecoat so take your pick and run with it.

A good top coat is a necessity, don’t fight it. I really love Seche Vite and Lippmann Collection Addicted to Speed. Other girls really love INM Out the Door and Poshe. As far as actual polishes, I personally get better results with higher end polishes. Rescue Beauty Lounge wears on me like it’s got Voo Doo in it but that doesn’t mean other companies won’t wear just as well. I’ve never had problems with any of the big name companies.

6. Finally, is there something wrong with the way you’re applying color? Maybe. Wait until the base coat is completely dry before you start applying color. I have found that working with very thin coats works best, even if that means you’re using more coats than you normally would. Three thin coats are better than two thick coats. Lastly, “wrapping” your tips, which means brushing horizontally across the tip of your nail with your top coat tends to help with chipping issues.

7. Use moisturizer all the time. Period.


8. Apply fresh top coat every other day – this does wonders for extending the life of manicures. I really like Nail Laminates Liquid Glass for this purpose. (Thank you for reminding me about this tip, Geraldine!)

If you incorporate all those tips into your routine and you still have issues, email me, we’ll find a solution.


Late to the Party: Zoya Flourish Collection

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

I know most the other nail bloggers have already covered this collection but I’m going to gratuitously cover it as well. I’m pretty surprised by how much I like this collection since usually I’m not into shimmers. It’s not that there is something inherently wrong with shimmers, it’s just that they tend to be really… common. That’s not the case with Flourish which features six are fairly unique colors.

Zoya Zara is an ethereal violet with very complex shimmer that flashes green, gold, and bronze. It looks incredible over whitish colors. I found this out accidentally. Zara has a jelly type quality to it and I was wearing Lippmann Icing on the Cake when I swatching this color so decided to try to layer it. The results were pretty impressive. It applies very well but it needs 3 coats to eliminate VPL. This color is a definite stand out.

Zoya Cyma is a red with magenta shimmer. This is 3 coats.

Zoya Kalista is a dark reddish brown with dark copper shimmer. This is a great wearable dark brown. It applies very well, this is just two coats.

Zoya Mieko is a cerise with sparse fleck gold shimmer. This swatch is 2 coats.

Zoya Richelle is sparkly light copper with a foil finish. This swatch is 3 coats. I am completely in love with this color – it is ridiculously, disgustingly gorgeous. I’m not sure if you guys have noticed a pattern lately with me just loving the ever living daylights out of these recently released gold polishes. I guess I’m moving from my purple period into a gold period à la Picasso.

Zoya Shivon is a mulberry with greenish gold iridescent shimmer. Shivon is my second favorite from this collection. This is a 3 coater.


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