Archive for the ‘Green’ Category

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bring It Back 2012

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Brief aside, I’m really disappointed with how these photos turned out. I’ve had such a hard time with proper moisturizing lately. My Lemony Flutter/Solar Oil combo just isn’t hacking it and you can really tell in these photos – sad little dry nubbins. The old girls just aren’t what they used to be. *sobs* Rest assured though, I’m on the hunt for a new moisture regimen and I’ll keep you posted on what I find.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Aqua Lily

Rescue Beauty Lounge Aqua Lily is turquoise with very subtle fuchsia shimmer. The shimmer isn’t really visible in most lights, it’s just a gleam that gives the turquoise some depth. Good application, this mani was 3 coats. As expected with shades like this, beware, it’s a slight skin stainer. Aqua Lily was by far the most popular from this set of re-releases. I believe that after RBL launched BIB4, Aqua Lily sold out almost immediately and it’s still sold out now. Hopefully, more stock will be available soon. I’ll try to find out the status and let you know.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle – oh beloved, Recycle. This color is easily in my Top 20. It’s the perfect vibrant medium green – not too dark, not too light. Great application – perfect at 2 coats, but in this photo I did 3.  Years ago, this color was truly unique. There really was nothing else quite like it. Now, with the wider availability of greens, I’m sure there are close dupes out there. But this color still holds a really special place in my heart. Although I’ve written about this color before (you can see the original post here), I took the prospect of writing this post as an opportunity to pull this one out from my tried drawer and update the photo. So… so… gorgeous.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant

Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant is a light grapple with very subtle, nearly invisible blue shimmer. Like Aqua Lily, the shimmer mostly adds depth. Application was perfect. I wore this color after wearing two PITAs in a row and it reminded me of how wonderful it is when a polish glides on smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised by this color, it’s a purple that was actually flattering to my skin-tone, a real rarity. And I think it qualifies as “work apropos with an edge.” Chic and sophisticated come to mind.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso. Mmm… how to describe… It’s so mysterious. Inky eggplant? Is it blue or is it purple? Most bloggers say it’s blue but Piu Mosso really leaned purple to my eye, it’s a tough call. And the shimmer? Subtle copper and green microshimmer?  It has a slight duochrome quality to it, in some angles it’s visibly copper and in others green. Definitely a good base for a shifting top coat. The truth is that the photos online just don’t do this shade any justice. This is what Clarins 230 would look like after going to college, getting in with the bad crowd, dying her hair black and reading a lot of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. It totally speaks to the angsty teenager inside me. I *l*o*v*e* it.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso Bottle Shot

*Cat calls* Looook at that shimmah. On the nail, it isn’t exactly invisible, but it’s not as prominent as it is in the bottle. The shimmer reminds me of black ball point pen ink after it has exploded all over everything. I did notice, after a few days of wear, the color seemed to darken. The shimmer seemed to fade and virtually disappeared from the surface of my nail.

rescue-beauty-lounge-opaque-nude-edited

Rescue Beauty Lounge Opaque Nude – the name is pretty self-descriptive. I previously reviewed this here. Here’s an excerpt: “My swatch is darker due to lighting and my skin tone which brings out the ‘nudeness’ of this color. In my opinion, Opaque Nude is border-line business appropriate, perfectly okay for a less conservative office. I say this only because it might be too obvious. I feel like business appropriate colors have to be subtle, pretty but not necessarily noticeable and for most people this color will be very noticeable.” It’s so funny to read my older reviews. My opinion about what qualifies as business appropriate has changed a lot. I’ll have to pull this one out and see if I still feel like it’s too “noticeable” after a few months of wearing some markedly non-office appropriate colors to work.

RescueBeautyLounge-StarfishPatrick-edited

Rescue Beauty Lounge Starfish Patrick. This is another shade that I previously reviewed: “Described as “wispy peach coral”, it’s definitely the most accessible of the [Sponge Bob Collection shades]. Bikini Bottom is my personal favorite, but my NOTD right now is Starfish Patrick, primarily because it’s subtle enough for work.” You can see the whole post here. I apologize for recycling photos – especially these since they’re so tiny in comparison to my new photo style. I do plan to eventually rephotograph colors as I re-wear them.

Did you pick up any of the BIBs? Any colors you wish RBL would re-release?

_______

Disclaimer: All shades were sent for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge, expect Recycle which I purchased myself. I can’t remember how I got Opaque Nude – it’s possible it was also sent to me for review.

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A Few Polishes From Pretty Serious Cosmetics

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Pretty Serious Cosmetics is the beauty brainchild of long time friend and fellow nail blogger Kaz, of Pretty Random. I still remember reading on Facebook while I was on hiatus that Kaz was launching her own brand of cosmetics. She’s living the dream with pretty amazing results. Overall, I’m very impressed with the quality of these polishes as well as the gorgeous, vivid colors. Application was perfect with most of these. PSC polishes retail for 9.95 AUD, which right now equals roughly 10.40 USD. Also, a 10% discount is available if you purchase full collection sets. Although Pretty Serious is based in Australia, they do ship to the US and a few other countries.  I have several PSC lemmings to fulfill and, hopefully, I’ll be able to do a mini-haul soon. Of course, I’ll (slowly) post my spoils for you all. Until then though, here are a few pretties for your consideration:

Pretty Serious Cosmetics Morning Java – so, so complex. I’m not even sure how to begin to describe this color. The base is a sort-of milk chocolate-y brown, booming with gold shimmer and fine glitter. It sparkles gold, copper, and a hint of green. The application was awesome, perfect at 2 coats.

Pretty Serious Cosmetics Dream Delight is multisize irregularly shaped silver glitter suspended in a grey tinted transparent base. If you look closely, you’ll also see some very sparse holo glitter and hex glitter. The hexes are very sparse, in this whole swatch I only spotted one. The glitter is completely opaque at two coats, very cool. I used two coats of Gelous to smooth-out the surface.

Pretty Serious Cosmetics Nightopia is bluish green with fine shimmer and a tiny touch of gold shimmer. Wooweee. This color reminds me of Bloom Bianca and Rimmel Mania (both of which are hiding somewhere in my stash!!!). Rimmel Mania is from my original nail polish stash, circa 1999-2002! I do hope I find these soon and I will post comparisons when I do. For now, you can check out Polish Insomniac’s comparison of the two shades.

Without being able to look at my bottles and from looking at swatches online, I believe Nightopia might be a bit deeper than Mania and Bianca. Either way, Nightopia might be a lemming quencher as Mania is long discontinued and Bloom polishes retail for 19.95 AUD (Whoa… were they that expensive 3 years ago? I have so many of them in my collection but I can’t imagine I would have bought so many at that price). Application was easy, this is 3 coats.

And, finally, last but definitely not least – the ridiculously beautiful BSOD (Blue Screen of Death):

Pretty Serious Cosmetics BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)… HOLY $#!+. This photo does this color no justice, no justice at all. No matter how I set up the lighting, I just couldn’t capture the true beauty of this color – suffice it to say that this photo is sadly inaccurate. It does not even begin to capture to the gorgeousness of this color, not even a little. It is so much more than a night sky polish - it’s really in a league of its own. It was absolutely breath-taking, I couldn’t stop staring at it the entire time I wore it. And that’s not to mention the compliments – this one is definitely a show stopper. Even my beloved Essie Starry Starry Nights pales in comparison. In fact, I think BSOD may either bump SSN from the top 20 or take a spot of its own. That is how much I truly LOVE this color.

Okay, let me stop gushing and start describing. BSOD looks like fine blue glitter suspended in blue jelly, and, boy, does it glow. To me, it looked less like the night sky and more like a blue version of the green scrolling text from The Matrix. This mani was 4 coats. BSOD dries non-glossy, so I used 1 coat of Gelous under 1 coat of Seche Vite.

My only criticism of this other-worldly color is that the application was not as great as the other polishes. It was a bit thick, not horrible, but my bottle could definitely benefit from a few drops of thinner. The wear was pretty impressive – 4 days, no chips or tip wear.

Have you tried Pretty Serious? If so, any other colors I need to pick up when I haul?

_______

Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for review by Pretty Serious Cosmetics.

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A Few Shades From The China Glaze New Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection Fall 2012

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I’m late to the party on this one… I should just stop saying this as it seems I am perpetually late to the party. The truth is, I swatched these a long time ago but I’ve been so backed up I haven’t had a chance to post them yet. I’m having some much-needed down time this week and it’s giving me an opportunity to catch up on posting.

I missed the little metallic-duochrome revolution sparked by Chanel Peridot. The unanimous consensus from speaking to other bloggers and collectors was that Peridot was a game changer. A few people, having no inkling of the phenomenon that would soon follow, rushed to buy back-ups of the then unique color. Now, nearly every major brand has a Peridot-like shade. There are SO many dupes, in fact, that they’ve been affectionately dubbed “peri-dupes.” In the long-long ago, I often voiced my frustration that nail polish companies failed to remarket or recreate highly sought-after discontinued shades. Although greens are common now, four years ago, getting a dark green often meant shelling out the big bucks for an older shade like NARS Zulu or OPI Jasper Jade. The frenzy caused by those colors went seemingly unnoticed (or ignored) as companies released an endless cycle of the same shimmery reds every season. The prevalence of peri-dupes seems to suggest that there may have been a shift in market strategy. The question then becomes whether the peri-duping phenomenon will be isolated only to Peridot or whether color copycating will be a new industry standard. I’m conflicted. On the one hand, I like to see inexpensive dupes of more expensive colors. I sink money on Chanel all the time, especially lately, but I rather spend less when possible. I begrudgingly passed on Peridot because I had already purchased OPI Just Spotted the Lizard. (Granted, I had to be talked down off the ledge by Scrangie because I really wanted Peridot, just for the sake of having it, even after seeing her comparison.) On the other hand, I’m troubled by the fact that since nearly every brand released a peri-dupe based shade or collection recently that also necessarily means that they did not release something new and exciting instead.

Of course, I have to wonder whether Peridot would have been so widely copied if it had been released by a less prestigious brand. Would there be so many peri-dupes if the original was Wet n Wild Peridot instead of Chanel Peridot? I think the color is unique enough that the nail polish community would have gone ga-ga over it regardless of the brand, but my guess is that there would have been no industry attention to the shade without the Chanel name attached to it.

In any case, Peridot has definitely left its mark and here are four shades from the New Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection, China Glaze’s interpretation of the metallic-duochrome trend. I only have 4 to show you. I skipped Want My Bawdy, sorry, shimmery, metallic-y medium blues don’t usually appeal to me and the name offends my Victorian sensibilities, haha. I also skipped Rare and Radiant, the China Glaze peri-dupe, for the same reason I skipped the original. You can see swatches of the whole collection on Scrangie’s blog - her post is also worth checking out because it discusses other known dupes for the colors in this collection. According to Scrangie’s post, a few shades correspond with colors by Deborah Lippmann - I can’t give much insight on that because my collection is still catching up with recent releases.

China Glaze Unpredictable, oh, love this metallic-y goodness. Unpredictable shifts from yellow-green to green to green-blue. The finish, like the other colors in this collection, is very mirrored. If you look closely you can see my camera’s reflection on my nail.  As hard as I tried with my limited photography skills, I just could not capture the blue shift which is only visible at certain angles. This is 4 coats.

China Glaze Swanky Silk is a rose-toned gold duochrome. The gold is very light, as is the pink tone, which gives it an antique-like foil effect – that quality, I thought, made it office safe.

 This one is more subtle than the others and not as reflective. Because the reflections are less obvious, it only slightly darkens the color on the nail, making it appear tarnished. The application was good but Swanky Silk is a bit sheer, so this mani is 4 coats.

Here’s a side shot to show the delicate pink tone.

I decided to mattify this using Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Matte Top Coat after a couple of days of wear. This look is my favorite – I think the other shades would look great mattified as well. The mattification did away with most of the duochrome and left only a very light rosy gold overall color.

China Glaze Deviantly Daring, love, love, love. In the bottle Deviantly Daring is a green to blue duo-chrome. The shift doesn’t translate as well on the nail but, still, the result is a gorgeous greenish-blue with a foil-like metallic finish. This was very tough to photograph, like the others, my camera’s reflection made the color appear much darker.

Here’s Deviantly Daring at a different angle with less reflection to show the greenish-blue. I noticed with this whole collection that the brushstrokes become less obvious as the polish dries – which is good.

Sometimes, at some angles, the color shifts from a deep blue to the more electric blue, captured above. I wore this as a full mani, this is 3 coats and one coat of Seche Vite. I scooped this one up on sale at Sally’s - it was 50% off. Woot, woot!

China Glaze No Plain Jane seems different from the other shades in this collection. In the bottle it looks like a gold to purple duochrome. During application, it looked like there was metallic purple shimmery pigment suspended in a gray toned base. On the nail it just looked like a standard shimmery purple that would sometimes shift to a more gray-toned purple. The formula was very sheer, but it was good at 3 coats.

Finally, this collection features silver caps. I suppose this was done because this is a “chrome” collection. I own several old silver capped China Glaze polishes. Despite their age, the caps are still mostly pristine – which is unique for silver caps. My older silver capped OPI bottles are getting discolored. My previous experience with China Glaze silver caps made me pretty surprised to find that the silver caps in this collection are much lower quality. I had some acetone on my fingertips and the silver actually rubbed off on my finger! C’mon China Glaze, bring back those awesome older silver caps!

What do you think about the peri-dupe phenomenon? Do you appreciate more affordable dupes of expensive colors? Or would you prefer that companies expend effort creating new colors as opposed to copying already existing shades?

_________

Disclosure: No Plain Jane, Swanky Silk, and Unpredictable were sent for review by China Glaze’s PR. I purchased Deviantly Daring myself. Rescue Beauty Lounge Matte Top Coat was sent for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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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?

_____

Disclaimer: These were sent for review by Cult Nails.

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Rescue Beauty Lounge Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty Fall 2010

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The saddest thing about my absence was that I missed a lot of really amazing collections. Since coming back, I have been on a ‘do or die’ mission to catch up on everything I’ve missed. Rescue Beauty Lounge, in particular, released a ton of polishes that I feel like I NEED (yes, I’m still a major RBL fangirl, like whoa). Diddy Mow might actually be my new Zulu. I missed out on Insouciant and Recherche but was lucky enough to pick them up in a blog sale recently. And finally, Ji will be re-releasing Pui Mosso and Aqua Lily in November – thank the polish gods because I really *need* those too. And, of course, the Tudors. While I spent the past 3 years tuned out of the nail polish world, I did catch wind of this collection, only to sadly miss out during the original release. It is freaking awesome that these were re-released as a part of the Bring it Back series (and that, consequently, they have made their way into my evil clutches.)

Aside from being a genuinely awesome collection – it’s conceptually interesting. As a collector, more so than a beauty-aficionado, I am drawn to collections that have interesting concepts, inspirations, etc. Particularly with this collection, the concept sold me immediately. Truly, as a lover of all things British and historical, these polishes could have been OPI and Apple Pie style fug x 4 and I still would have squealed and swooned. Fortunately though, these polishes are impressive in their own right, quite apart from their unique historical theme.

I tried to include some interesting historical facts that I remember from reading Alison Weir’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Of course, it’s been years since I read that book so some of these “facts” might be inaccuracies residual from my love of the Showtime series The Tudors (mmm Henry Cavill *makes Homer donut sounds*). As an aside, I highly recommend anything by Alison Weir if you have any interest in English royal history at all - I’ve read a few of her books and have thoroughly enjoyed them all.

Okay, without further blah blah blah… here are the swatches.

 

Rescue Beauty Lounge Jane – loooooove. This is a greige putty, with very light sparse gold shimmer. The shimmer is invisible on the nail – while you can’t really see it, I feel like it does add to the overall color of the polish. This mani was 3 coats – excellent wear and application per usu. I really loved this color, it’s chic and obviously work appropriate for any environment. One aspect of this polish that appealed to me is that it is reflective of Jane Seymour, at least in my opinion. Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s third and favorite wife. He called her his one true wife. Probably because she gave birth to his first and only surviving legitimate male heir, Edward VI. By all accounts, she was just a class act and I think this color really embodies that.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Anne – probably my favorite from this collection (me and everyone else on Earth). It’s a very dark green, with complex gold, green, and fuchsia cast shimmer. This is 3 coats, like Jane, great application. The shimmer, which is strangely nearly invisible in bright sunlight, gives it a metallic glow. This quality makes the color not readily identifiable as green. Instead, it reminds me of tarnished metal. For that reason, I did wear this one to work – it’s green without being BAM in your face green, so I didn’t think it would be offensive in an office environment. I wouldn’t classify it as work appropriate by any stretch but I think most people could get away with this one, save for the most conservative environments.

Here’s a bottle shot to exhibit the shimmer more clearly – very tough to capture, but very beautiful. Like Jane, I thought Anne was pretty reflective of its muse, Anne Boleyn. I know Ji was inspired by the fabrics of the time as much as the historical personalities involved – but Jane and Anne were both really on point personality-wise. Anne Boleyn was kind of a badass – just like this color. Henry VIII’s second wife, widely hated in her time and known for swiping Henry from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. She was intelligent, conniving, and powerful. Her (male) contemporaries described her as “more like a man than a woman.” She had immense control over Henry VIII and his court… until she wasn’t able to produce a male heir. Accused of adultery and incest, she lost her head. Historians speculate that Anne’s only daughter the future Queen Elizabeth, who was also kind of a badass, never really got over what happened to her mother – which partially accounted for her aversion to marriage and her sobriquet, The Virgin Queen.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H – I do apologize my photo is not exactly color accurate and my attempts to color correct are sad and pitiful. I would describe it as a muted, but dark periwinkle blue (maybe a touch of violet?) My picture makes it a tad too bright, it’s much more muted and demure in person. This is also three coats, also great application. I think I would classify the mainly blue and fuchsia shimmer as glass fleck. It was also glitter-like in the sense that it ate ALL of my top coat, giving the final mani an overall satin, instead of glossy, sheen. I  wore this one to work as well although I wasn’t planning to do so originally. Fate had it that I was taking photos of this collection around the time of the Democratic National Convention (yup, I’m also still a flaming, dirty liberal). I was inspired by FLOTUS to wear muted blue in a professional setting. Rather, I used that as an excuse – If questioned I planned to say – “Hey if Michelle Obama can rock it – so can I!” Of course, as I’ve previously observed, no one cares about my nails and I wore it undisturbed.

Here’s some more shimmery bottle shot goodness. Catherine H is named for Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife and a cousin to Anne Boleyn. She was just a child when she married Henry, mostly at the behest of her male relatives who had previously enjoyed much favor when Anne was queen and had aspirations of reviving their former glory. By then, four wives deep, Henry was old and a pretty big dude due to a chronic ulcerated leg injury as a result of a jousting accident. Her contemporaries described her as frivolous and silly, so I think a periwinkle blue is pretty fitting. She was accused of adultery for which she was ultimately beheaded – but unlike Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard was probably guilty.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine – a rich, but greyed-out dark plum. Shimmer, texture, finish-wish this one is more akin to Anne than to Catherine H. No glass flecks here, instead you have complex predominately fuchsia with very fine goldish shimmer and some sparse blue sparkle. Application was good at 2 coats, but I used 3. I really loved this one, despite my general indifference to purple nail polish. I did my first mani with this using a new product (that I will soon be reviewing), Yellow Stopper. BIG MISTAKE. My mani peeled right off, glue basecost style, in the morning. I had to re-do it and in my ridiculous neurosis found myself so disappointed that I was wasting this polish by having to reapply twice within a 12 hour period. (yes, I know, I’m totally weird – double you tea eff.)

Look. at. that. shimmer. g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. This was the only polish out of the set of 4 that I didn’t quite catch the connection with the namesake. Catherine of Aragon was rigid, regal, stubborn, and really, really, really Catholic. I don’t picture her as a purple – and she was such a tragic character, perhaps black or dark grey. She was Henry’s older brother’s wife – but he died before their marriage was consumated. Later, Henry married her for political reasons – her nephew was the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. During the Great Matter, Henry would use Catherine’s marriage to his brother as a partial basis to support his plea for a divorce. Not to over simplify but, basically, the Pope said “hell to the no” and then the Anglican church was born. Her only surviving daughter, Mary I, of Bloody Mary fame, picked up that moniker for burning and maiming hundreds of protestants during her reign as Queen.

Gosh, I love history. Reviewing this collection makes me finally want to read Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry the VIII which I purchased in college for my major and never got around to reading.

My one and only criticism of this collection is that I wish there had been six polishes instead of four (Six wives = Six Polishes!!). I do hope to see RBL do more historically themed collections. (French Revolution Anyone!?!?!? Heian Japan??!?!?! Come on!!!)

Is there any period of history that you would like to see translated into a nail polish collection?

*edited to correct historical inaccuracies – thanks Sue!!*

______

Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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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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