Archive for the ‘Almost Black’ Category

Some More Belated Cult Nails Swatches

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

I meant to post these during all the Cultober festivities, but the last two weeks at work have been hellish. The upside is that I was so distracted by work that I managed to go nearly two full weeks without buying anything (woo hoo for small victories); the down side is that I neglected the blog big time. I also nervously picked at my nails the whole time such that they are now injured, little nubbins. The nubbins were also accompanied by peeling, oh the horrible peeling. My nails are in such bad shape, they have never been like this before. I can’t figure out whether the peeling is a result of my nervous picking (both from using my nails to pick and from the damage to the nail bed caused by peeling off nail polish) or whether it’s the new base coat I’ve been using, Nail Tek Foundation III. To combat these issues, I picked up some Biotin today. The next couple of weeks will be stressful too, but they shouldn’t be as bad as the last two. I’m making a conscious effort to stop picking. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement too.

In any case, the polishes in this post were my biggest Cult lemmings. And, oh boy, they are every bit as amazing as I hoped they would be. All four polishes were worn as manis. I was very impressed with the quality, good consistency, perfect application and wear. The bottle style is standard and sturdy. I liked the brush style too. These retail for $10.00 on the Cult Nails website. All in all, I’m pretty impressed with this brand.

Cult Nails Awakening… LOVE IT. I first saw this color on twitter, instant lemming. Subsequently, I went into a panic when Maria tweeted that this color was being discontinued and that supplies were running low. I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on this before it was gone. (Hopefully, Maria will bring it back some day). Awakening is a very deep, dark muted teal that leans toward blue as opposed to green.  I would say this is a crelly, definitely more creme than jelly. This is 3 coats, excellent application. I wore this one to work. Not exactly work appropriate but I thought it was subtle enough that it wouldn’t offend anyone. The wear was outstanding: 5 days, no chips.

Cult Nails Vicious, another beauty, is a dark, red-leaning plum creme. The color is very well pigmented, great formula and application. Perfectly opaque at two coats. I used Vicious as the base for an evolving mani that I will post soon.

Cult Nails I Got Distracted is fine holographic glitter and small green hexagonal glitter suspended in a blackened green base. This was another twitter-initiated lemming and it’s pretty amazing. Totally not work appropriate but I wore it to work anyway because I’m a sneaky-sneak. My husband said it was okay because even though it’s blingtastic-like-whoa, the darkness of the base makes it as subtle as something this blingy can be. This mani was 3 coats, but it was good at 2. IGD is a top coat eater for sure, I used 3 coats of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Cult Nails Living Water is blue and green micro glitter suspended in a dark blue jelly base. I love colors like this, dark and sparkly without being ‘in your face.’ It dries a bit matte so I used a coat of Gelous under Wicked Fast. People are constantly raving about Wicked Fast – the jury is still out for me but my initial impressions were good. It was ultra glossy and it dried very quickly to the touch.

Here’s a side shot to exhibit the gorgeous glitter. Finally, like the others, the application and wear was awesome.

I’m really looking forward to picking up some polishes by Cult. Do you have any Cult favorites that I need to own?

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Disclaimer: These were sent for review by Cult Nails.

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Zoya Smoke Collection Fall 2011: Like Old Times

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

This is my first collection review as of the relaunch! I chose to begin with the Zoya Smoke collection for three reasons: first, this collection pretty much encompasses everything I love about nail polish – very rich, creme, smokey, unique, moody colors presented together thematically. Second, I consider many of the colors in this collection to be consistent with the new theme: work appropriate with an edge. Finally, if you follow Zoya on  Facebook or Twitter (and if you don’t you really, really should) you know that their Account Holder Buy One Get One Free Sale ends tomorrow one minute before midnight, so I figured this post would be timely for anyone still on the fence about making an order.

This collection might be old news for some, but when I decided to start blogging again this collection really popped out to me after scouring Scrangie’s blog for new lemmings. It was released in Fall of 2011 as one half of the Smoke and Mirrors Collection (I’ll be swatching Mirrors soon). I really love the theme here – the concept of smoke, which evokes images of smoldering color and sultriness, was really well executed. Zoya has seriously stepped up their game while I’ve been away, so hats off to them. Part of the reason, it took all week to get these swatches together for this post is that I wore three of the six colors in this collection as NOTDs. The whole collection is worth owning for anyone into moody cremes.

Zoya Petra was my first NOTD from this collection – I LOVED IT. It’s a dark smokey purple creme. The color in the bottle looks more murky and mushroom-y than the color appears once it’s on the nail – which is significantly darker. This mani was 3 coats. Application was average, not the best but not the worst. On the work-apropos scale – I would say this shade is appropriate for all except the most conservative environments. It’s purple, but it’s not “in your face” – it’s very chic and demure. I know colors like this have been very popular in my absence and since my collection is still frozen in time, I didn’t really have anything comparable in my stash – the closest thing was Sephora by OPI Metro Chic but Petra is much more purple.

Zoya Jana, in the same vein as Petra, is a dusty, moody purple tinged putty taupe creme – this color is chic personified. It even elicited compliments from my husband who very rarely comments on polish. Like Petra, Jana was worn as a NOTD. I got really excellent wear out of it – I think it was over 5 days with no chips using Sally Hansen Nail Quencher as a base-cost and Seche Vite as a top-coat.  Also, like Petra, this one dries significantly darker on the nail than it looks in the bottle. Application was great, almost full coverage with one coat. However, the very pigmented formula was not forgiving of nail surface imperfections with less than 3 coats. On the work-apropos scale – in my opinion this one is safe anywhere. The closest color in my collection was Sephora by OPI Call Your Mother, but CYM is much more purple and less muted.

Zoya Anja, another NOTD, is a deep burgundy creme. Vampy goodness all around – I never, ever get tired of vampies. I didn’t spot any exact dupes in my vampy drawer but I don’t own Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter which Temptalia believes is a very close dupe. This is 2 coats, perfect application. I filed my nails really short, partly to wear this color. I do believe it’s work appropriate on short nails. I’m certainly not telling anyone how to wear their nails, but short is my personal nail length preference for vampies and almost blacks. I often see women around the courthouse wearing darker shades, but always on short nails - accordingly, I believe that’s the social convention for professionals. So, for the time being, I’m labeling this one conditionally work-apropos.

Holy $&$($&^@&*##@#(#&. Zoya Codie – the best way I can describe this is green toned liquid smoke with a creme finish. Definitely in line with the collection theme, smoke. It’s an almost black, but it’s beautiful. Like Petra and Jana, it’s darker on the nail than in the bottle. I wasn’t brave enough to wear this one to work. Sadly, this beauty is probably not work safe for any environment that is even remotely conservative. I’m definitely planning to whip it out on a weekend, when the swatching schedule permits. This swatch is three coats. The formula was a little watery so you have to be careful of pooling during application. Codie is my favorite from this collection.

Zoya Cynthia, my second favorite from this collection, is a smokey teal toned dark navy, almost black. It’s very difficult to see (and my camera totally failed to capture it), but this color has a beautiful ultra fine shimmer that is effectively invisible but gives the polish depth. (It’s shimmer for shimmer-haters like me. Haha.) This swatch is 3 coats, the first coat was very watery. Again, probably not the best choice for most office environments.

And, finally, Zoya Dree, a muted, dusty drab olive green creme. Coverage would have been good at 2 coats, but this swatch is 3 coats. Application on this one was perfect. Like the others in this collection, this one also dried slightly darker on the nail. The first obvious possible dupe would be Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War – but it doesn’t seem close. NMW seems much darker, although it’s tough to judge based on bottle shade alone since Dree appears slightly darker on the nail. I will post comparison pics soon. This one, again, is probably not office appropriate.

In case anyone is looking for more Zoya swatches for the BOGO Sale – check out my Zoya Category for your lemming creation needs. : D Are you planning to get, or have you gotten, anything from the sale? I know some girls hauled big time!

In other news, should you stumble upon the nail art article in the September issue of Allure and you might recognize nails belonging to a certain someone. :  ) You can see the post that that photo came from here: Cover Girl Crackle Lacquer.

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Disclosure: This collection was provided for review by Zoya.

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Glory Be: Glitter Gal Lizard Belly

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

The humor isn’t lost on me that I return with grand promises to review work appropriate polishes only to have my second post be a holographic dark green. But it’s the weekend and a color like this has been a major wishlist polish since time began. In my effort to catch up with the nail polish world – I’ve been reading a lot of MUA and a lot of other excellent nail blogs. (Thanks so much everyone for cluing me into so many great sites – I’ll be updating my blogroll really soon!).  I first saw this polish on The PolishAholic. I did a double-take: a DARK GREEN HOLO WHAT? WHAT!? WHAT!?! – then I squealed a little bit and immediately bought a bottle. I’m so glad I did, this polish is amazing.

I feel like the nail polish gods lured me back into blogging just so this color could make its way into my mailbox. Man, it’s beautiful. This NOTD is 3 coats of Lizard Belly, but it would have been perfect at 2 coats. Base coat is Sally Hansen Nail Quencher and top coat is Seche Vite. The color is a deep blackened green that leans slightly bluish-green (teal?), although it is ‘almost black’ it is visibly green. The very fine grain holo creates a refined prismatic effect and adds depth to the color - Lizard Belly is gorgeous but it’s definitely not as blingy as other holos.

 I took this shot with flash to show the holographic effect, but again these photos just don’t do this polish any justice. In person, the holo effect is more defined, it flashes a full rainbow but it’s fairly subdued even in the brightest sunlight. In the shade or indoors, it looks nearly black with sparse tiny glittery sparkles (like a mini-universe on my nail). I didn’t have any major application issues – although the polish was a tad on the thickish side. However, it was not thick enough to cause problems.  I seriously love this color – I think it has won a spot on the top twenty (yes, I’m going to keep doing the list even though it will be a little dated now).

My only beef is that I accidentally bought a teeny-tiny bottle… womp-womp. This photo is Lizard Belly next to OPI Here Today … Aragon Tomorrow to show the difference in size.  In my excitement to buy the color, I didn’t even notice I was buying the mini especially because it was a tad on the expensive side (I think I paid around $15). To my chagrin, Glitter Gal does sell these in the regular 15 mL size on their website *Sigh* now I’m trying to fight the urge to buy 8 more of the minis or at least one full size backup bottle.

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A Mystery to Me: Chanel Cosmique 28

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

chanel-cosmique-28

Even though I spend the GNP of a small country on polish, generally, I can’t bring myself to dish the big bucks for Chanel. I’m lucky though, Chanels seem to find their way to me despite my resistance to buying them. Chanel Cosmique 28 came to me by way of the lovely RaspberryBeetle who was also responsible for the best thing that ever happened to me. Aside from the fact that this polish is another example of RB’s other-worldly kindness, I know absolutely nothing about Cosmique and google was no help. The origin of this polish is a complete mystery to me.

The mysterious Cosmique is a very chic blue, actually, it’s an almost black with a deep blue sheen. It’s very fine blue shimmer in a smokey semi-sheer black base. I don’t have Chanel Blue Satin or Sally Hansen After Midnight  for comparison but word on the street is that all these polishes are fairly similar to each other.

The application is a bit streaky but it evens out well by the second and third coat. I love the color but my one  major gripe, like with Gold Fiction, is that the bottle is opaque, making it impossible to know how much of the polish remains. Although, I’m starting to feel like that might not be such a bad thing because I become incredibly distressed when I notice a quantity dip in a bottle of polish. The opaqueness hides the sad truth so I can save the craziness for another day.

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The Polish Addict’s Top 20 Polishes of All Time: #8 Chelsea – Psycho Green 666

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

chelsea-psycho-green

Chelsea Psycho Green is a dark Zulu-esque green with very subtle nearly invisible bluish green shimmer. I love this color, but honestly, it’s here as a place holder for Zulu since I didn’t own it when I finalized this list back in November. However, that doesn’t belittle the significance of Psycho Green to my personal collection. I received Psycho Green is my very first swap on MUA. My swapping partner knew about my unrequited love for Zulu and decided to send this amazing polish as an extra. Essentially, Psycho Green was my first brush with the amazing kindness of the nail board. For that reason, this is a much loved polish in my collection. Not to mention that Psycho Green definitely helped curb my hunger for Zulu because it’s a good base color dupe even though it differs as far as texture and finish. (See this post for a comparison of Psycho Green versus other green polishes.)

Sadly, Chelsea polishes can’t be purchased online (at least not to my knowledge). You have to hunt these babies down in dusties and beauty supplies. Lack of easy accessibility is it what makes Psycho Green hard-t0-find. I don’t believe it’s been discontinued but then again, I know very little about this mysterious little brand.

As far as application, Chelsea measures up. This is 2 coats very easily applied. The wear, however, leaves something to be desired. I usually get an abnormal amount of tip wear when I sport this polish.

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