Posts Tagged Zoya

Covering the fall polish bases with Essie and Zoya

As many of you are aware, I’ve been scaling way back on my beauty purchases lately, for various reasons (personal quest to reduce, baby on the way, and working toward a new home to sum it up). SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZE. I’m so tired to repeating the same ol’ every friggin’ day, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it! SO, today I had the chance to take a ton of photos of a bunch of fun makeup and the like, some purchased and some received, and this week I plan on showing you guys all the good stuff that’s helping me keep my beauty game tight (or as tight as it can be given the circumstances). Today we’re going to start slow with the few nail polishes I’ve added to my collection that are just perfect for fall.

Fall nail polishes

As soon as the Zoya Entice and Ignite fall collections were announced, I knew I had to scoop up some of those gorgeous shades! Zoya is probably the brand that’s most represented in my collection, followed closely by Essie. I love both brands for different reasons – Zoya tends to come out with original shades that just reel me in every. damn. time., and Essie creates beautifully feminine and elegant shades that always make me feel at once both chic and refined. It should come as no surprise, then, that the three shades I have to show you today are from both brands. Let’s begin with the Essie shade I’ve been eyeing for ages and finally purchased – Master Plan.

Essie Master Plan swatch

Master Plan is described as a ‘mischievous soft grey’ and I’d say that’s reasonably accurate. To my eye, it’s one of those true ‘greige’ shades, that falls smack dab in the middle of grey and and beige and tends to be incredibly wearable for most skin tones. Interestingly enough, initially I felt that Master Plan looked odd against my skin, almost clashing with the brown tone in a bad way – but after wearing it for a mere day, I completely did a 180 and decided that I loved how striking it looked, and the ‘clash’ I had perceived was actually a good thing, as it kept the shade from being too plain and melding too closely to my skin.

Essie Master Plan swatch Essie Master Plan swatch

The formula on this polish was particularly wonderful, as Essie does tend to be a runnier, thinner formula. This shade had a thinner yet intensely pigmented formula which *almost* allowed it to be a one coater, but of course I used two because c’mon – two just looks better. It flowed so easily on the nail, and was a quick and easy manicure to pull off, which is a HUGE plus for me lately as I just can’t be bothered to fuss more often than not. It was quite shiny on it’s own (these shots were taken after 5 days of wear) so I skipped top coat. Glorious all around!

The two shades I picked up from Zoya’s Ignite collection (the Entice collection was lovely, but a little bit more unoriginal in my opinion) were Remy, a ‘brilliant indigo with copper and gold liquid metallic,’ and India, a ‘deep, luxurious red with a gold liquid metallic shimmer.’ I found that both descriptions were close, but not completely on-point. Remy is a gorgeous deep teal-indigo shade, yes, but the shimmer I see is not copper and gold, but rather a lighter teal. This could just be that the base shade has coated the copper and gold shimmer – either way, it’s a complex and beautiful shade that I absolutely love. Two quick coats plus top coat to really amp up the shine and shimmer, and you’re good to go!

Zoya Remy swatch

Unfortunately, while wearing Remy the sun made a disappearing act for a few days, so I don’t have any shots of it in it’s full glory – but I think you can still get the idea of the depth and of it’s inner glow from my swatches (indoors – above; and in natural yet overcast light – below).

Zoya Remy swatch Zoya Remy swatch

India in the bottle, is indeed a deep, luxurious red, and I can see the golden shimmer better here – but it does lean a touch plum in the right lighting. I was hoping for it to be a bit more ruby red, but nonetheless this is also a stunning shade that is absolutely perfect for fall. Again, application was a breeze with two quick coats plus top coat.

Zoya India swatch

Above, in overcast light, you can still see the shimmer but it’s glowing quality is reduced somewhat. However, can you see what I mean about the plummy tones? Below, the shimmering goodness is on full display in sunlight, and it’s here that the polish really comes to life. The second photo again you can see a bit of a plum leaning to India – totally pretty, just not what I’d expected.

Zoya India Swatch Zoya India swatch

Both Remy and India were easy to apply, but take care in removal because they are a touch messy (but not really that bad). Remy I found stained my nails a bit more than India, but nothing too serious.

I’ve made a point this year to pull out 10 of my favourite fall polishes and display them on my dresser, to be the only shades I wear during the season (an effort to use things up!). However, I feel a strong urge just to put these three polishes on rotate, as they cover the bases for me in terms of what I desire in a fall polish – an edgy neutral; a unique, moody hue; and a feminine shade with just a hint of vampiness. I’m utterly pleased with all of them!


Have you picked up any new polishes for the season? What types of shades do you gravitate toward the most this time of year?

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Fall 2013 Wish List – Pretties Abound!

Ah, autumn.  The season that always releases my favorite makeup collections 🙂  This year, I’m determined to give myself permission to pick up a few choice pieces to give my daily routine a little boost!  Check out the wish list to see what has me drooling:

Fall 2013 Wish List

1. Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 384 Bonne Etoile $62CAD– the most gorgeous-looking palette I’ve seen in ages.  However, not all is as it seems…see note below.

2. MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson $25CAD – I actually couldn’t wait to buy this gorgeous plummy-brown sparker and it came home with me before I could even get this post out.  As a non-glitter-loving person, I have essentially ignored the Pressed Pigments entirely over the past few releases, but decided earlier this summer to give the formula a shot the next time I had a chance.  Damson has been the perfect introduction to add a little sparkle to my life!  Review to come.

3. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense in #30 Rose Popillia $42CAD – I haven’t bought any Armani makeup in a while now, mainly due to the ridiculous price hike we have here in Canada.  However, the ETK shadows always manage to lure me in, and Rose Popillia is a beautiful muted rose-taupe shade with a hint of duochrome.  From the swatches I’ve seen, it needs to be in my life and I’ll probably shell out the big bucks for it, even though it’ll pain me a bit!

4. Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Millenium $31CAD – In the promo photos this looks a bit more khaki than I was interested in.  But since seeing swatches around and testing it out in store (though – they don’t have the product to sell, just the testers…what’s the deal, Dior!?!? That happened in TWO stores I visited), I’ve come to realize this is GORGEOUS and is more like a darkened pewter shade.  The sparkliness of these shadows is super pretty and again, I feel like I need a bit more shimmer in my life than usual.  BRING IT.

5. Zoya Louise $9CAD – I’ve been kind of itching for a dark chocolate creme polish for a while now, and I think this one is it.  It’s dark enough to look contrast nicely with my skintone (re: not mannequin hands) and Zoya is generally a winning formula in my books.  So yummy.

6. YSL City Drive Palette in Classy $74CAD – I normally have little interest in the YSL brand as a whole except for their lip products, but I do strive to be well-rounded in all areas of my life, and when I saw swatches of this palette crop up here and there, I was pleasantly surprized to find that I quite liked how it all came together.  I haven’t seen this in person yet so a bit more investigation is needed, but if I’m feeling crazy this just might happen 😉

7. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow Pencil in Bittersweet $33CAD – I’ve been interested in trying one of these newish pencils out but hadn’t taken the plunge.  I desperately need a nice dark brown eyeshadow, as I have plenty of medium shades but nothing deep dark.  I’m hoping this might do the trick and kill two birds with one stone!

8. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Affinite $43CAD – I’m not going to buy both this AND Fantastic, but I’m torn between the two.  I don’t own too many cream blushes but I would like to change that, and what better place to start than Chanel?  A cool pink (which now I know is my JAM) would be perfect for fall/winter…though I must admit, I saw swatches/photos of Destiny on Karen at MBB and the shade looked so gorgeous and natural!

9. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Fantastic $42 CAD see above.

10. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red $30CAD – Another product I’ve been dying to try but just haven’t make the purchase yet.  You can’t really go wrong with a lush, bold red that looks like the perfect tone for fall.  This will be a definite pick-up when it arrives in stores (strangely, they have most of the collection but not this shade, yet).

Ok, so here’s the story with the Dior palette.  Last week I drew up this wish list and all was good.  But over the weekend, I had an opportunity to check out the Dior fall collection, and was sadly disappointed – that gorgeous Bonne Etoile quint?  On my skintone, it looked totally muddy 😥  I really thought that it was going to be THE piece that I grabbed out of all the new fall offerings, so I was really bummed out.  On a positive note, I have similar shades to several colors in the palette, so it’s probably for the best (though it doesn’t necessarily make me feel tons better!).  Additionally, I was also considering getting the lipgloss in Ensorcelante, but when I swatched it I was again, disappointed – I felt more ‘meh’ than anything!!  Sadness…I even have enough optimum points to get a wee bit of free stuff so I was really banking on this being a nice low-cost treat for the season.

Ah well, can’t win ’em all.  And anyway, the rest of these items?  Still TOTALLY crushing on.  The MAC shadow is 100% love, and I’m certain my new glittering love affair will extend to the Dior mono shadow as well.  Truth be told, I think I’m genuinely going to buy every single item on this wish list (with the exception of perhaps the YSL quad…I’ll have to really love it in person to justify that cost) – I think I’m due for a good splurge.  I’m feeling a lot less financial pressure right now and while I’m still trying to keep my collection more modest of late and not add to it excessively, I’m less bothered by adding new products that have different textures than I usually opt for – feels like I’m not adding to the repetition but branching out a bit.  And like I said, fall is my favorite season!!  So I think I’m due to celebrate, just a little bit 😉

What’s on your wish list for the upcoming season!?

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Summer Polish Combo: Zoya Robyn with Essie Come Here

Happy Canada Day!!!  It’s been a busy week and an even busier weekend, as usual!  I had an excellent weekend celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, even despite the fact that the weather has been absolute CRAP.  Sometimes though, the fact that everyone pulls together to make the best of a shitty situation (in this case, crazy rain and wind for DAYS) is almost better than if everything had been perfect.  And when you’re doing all this with the people you care about, well, then it’s all gravy 😀

Summer Polish Combo

As the weather has been hit or miss this summer so far (with more misses than hits), I haven’t been very concerned about my mani/pedi situation, but last week after picking up those few new shades, it was due time to get on it!  Below I tried out two of the shades, Zoya Robyn – a bright sky blue – and Essie Come Here, a coral red from the 2013 Resort collection.  Both are perfect vibrant summer shades that work well on both fingers and toes – I love them!

Summer Polish Combo (4)

Zoya Robyn was a unique addition to my polish collection – most blue shades I have lean teal or aqua, or are more of along the lines of a deep navy.  This eye-catching shade is perfect for spring and summer, and I really love it!  I wasn’t sure about it on my hands at first, but it really grew on me and I ended up wearing it for a full four days.  The formula is thin which means you have to be a bit careful in application, but it only required two coats so it’s not terribly fussy.  It wore exceptionally well and I only had minor tip wear after those four days.

Zoya Robyn (2)

Essie Come Here is my kind of shade!  I love the strong red leaning that sometimes leans pink and sometimes leans more orange.  It looks fabulous on toes and will go with pretty much any shade I pair it with.  Formula was lovely with absolutely no issues or tricks required for application.  100% win!  I haven’t yet worn Essie Come Here on my fingernails, but I am eager to – below I have a few comparison swatches to show you (aka justify my purchase); it’s really not like anything I personally own.

Essie Come Here comparisonEssie Meet Me at Sunset, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Come Here, butter London Snog

Essie Come Here! comparison Essie Come Here! comparison (3)Top to bottom: butter London Snog, Essie Come Here, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I thought Snog was going to be quite close, but it’s far too pink.  Surfin’ for Boys is in the right vein but much lighter and with shimmer.  Meet Me at Sunset is clearly too orange, but it has the same intensity of saturation.  From what I understand, Essie’s Ole Caliente and Flirt are very similar to Come Here, so if you have either of those, you’re probably set.  Bottom line: It’s a great shade that I’m totally diggin’!

What do you think of this combo?  Have you come up with any great combinations of your own lately?

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Mmmm…Chocolately Goodness with Zoya’s Dea

A few weeks ago, while browsing looks created for the fall 2012 runways searching for inspiration, I stumbled upon this photo from Cynthia Rowley with a fabulous yet simple nail look:

…Also – how happy and cute does this model look?! 😀

As a fan of the random alternate shade as part of a manicure, this appealed to me so much.  I also loved the cocoa shade the model wore, which was surprizing to me since I usually have nointerest in brown nail polish.  Brown skin + brown polish = bo-ring!  However, this one seemed somehow elegant on her (although I’m sure her long, slender fingers helped immensely), and the juxtaposition of the dark accent nail really made the entire look.  When I found out that the polish used was by Zoya, and that I owned one of the shades already – Cynthia, an deep teal from last fall’s collection – I knew I had to buy the other color, stat!

And so I came to own Zoya’s Dea 😀

Indoor light, no flash

Dea is a milk chocolate shade with a hint of red in it’s base, which seems to really flatter my olive-leaning skin.  It’s not so close to my skintone as to look like a ‘mannequin hands’ shade, but not so dark that it looks drab, which is how I usually find brown or brown-leaning shades to look like on me.  While I love a good dark chocolate shade on fair skin (see Temptalia), on me it just falls flat.  Not so with Dea!  Its the very first brown polish I’ve owned and I absolutely LOVE it!

Indoor light, flash

Formula on Dea was typical Zoya cream, which is to say it goes on a tad bit fussy but overall dries to a lovely, self-leveling finish.  Lately I’ve been noticing that the base coat I pair with my polish makes a difference in the wear of the polish, so I’ve been accumulating various base coats from each brand.  This time around when I ordered Dea from Nail Polish Canada, I also ordered Zoya’s Anchor base coat, and it made a HUGE difference in how long the polish lasted on me.  Normally I get about 3 days wear with most polishes before it starts to chip, but I wore Dea for almost a week with only minor tip wear (the photos below are on day 4, I believe).  I attribute that to pairing the base coat and polish of the same brand together – though I will do a few trial runs with other brands and the Anchor base to see how they fare.

Indoor light, flash

As this was my first time wearing Dea, I didn’t do the accent nail because I wanted to wear the polish on it’s own to see how I felt.  As you probably can tell, I was totally pleased with it as is and so now I can’t waitto wear it with Cynthia as I think it’s going to be the most amazing combination ever!  I’ll be sure to post pics when I do 🙂

For anyone wondering, I did a quick bottle comparison of this shade with OPI’s San Tan-tonio, because at first I thought they might be similar.  However, as you can see, the two are NOT dupes or even close, with OPI’s shade being obviously lighter, and I find it leans more yellow overall.  And, erm…Dea is all kinds of more awesome, guys!!!

I think you’re probably getting the picture here now – Dea is totally awesome!  It’s always the best when you have little or no expectations, its much easier to be pleasantly surprized and impressed 😀  I will concur that it may be a shade that doesn’t work for everyone…but in that instance, I’d say to investigate the brown shade I linked to above, or some other similar colors – I’m totally a brown polish convert now and think everyone should own at least one!

What shade of polish has pleasantly surprized you in the past?  Do you care for brown polish at all, or steer clear?

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My First Aqua Polish: Zoya’s Wednesday

Ok, I know that sounds highly unlikely – someone who has over 100 bottles of polish (yes, I’ve passed that mark now!) somehow doesn’t own an aqua shade?!  But seriously guys – I’ve purposely avoided that color for a long time.  I just don’t think it looks that great on me!  The one polish that I have that could probably be classified as a teal/aqua, LA Colors in Atomic, is kind of an fabulously ugly shade that probably doesn’t look good on most people, yet it draws the eye anyway.  I’m not counting it because it’s just not what I envision when I think aqua.  You know, shades like China Glaze For Audrey, Chanel Nouvelle Vague, or more lately, Dior’s St. Tropez (which I desperately wanted to jump on the bandwagon for, but couldn’t bring myself to pay $23 for a polish I might hate on my skintone).  These shades are what come to mind for a fabulous aqua-blue Summer polish.  But until now, I had nothing of the sort.

Zoya’s Wednesday, from the Beach & Surf Summer collection, somehow got under my defenses against aqua polish.  It was a bit more dusty – while still retaining it’s Summery goodness – and not quite as bright and glaring as some of the other offerings; it seemed like if I was finally going to take a chance, this should be the polish I choose to do it with.

Zoya takes AGES to arrive here in Canada, which makes me absolutely crazy as it’s one of my favorite polish brands.  To wait for it to *maybe* arrive in salons here (as not all collections do), it takes probably two months – as it was, it took well over a month for it to arrive on Nail Polish Canada, at which time I instantly ordered it sight unseen.

Indoor lighting

Once it arrived, with a little trepidation I did a full manicure with the shade.  At first, I was unsure how I felt – it still seemed to obvious on my skintone, and it doesn’t fall within the pale/bright/dark category of polishes – tones that I find look best on me.  It’s a mid-range shade that leans slightly green – also not a great color on me – but the slightly muted quality of it tones down any potential harshness.

With flash

I’m just wrapping up day two with this polish on, and I can now confidently say that I love it.  Within the hour of application it grew on me – the creaminess, the pop of color against my skin that can only make me think of the sea and sun…it really can’t be beat!  And the formula itself is quite good – two thin coats to opacity, and it’s self-leveling so any slight lumps and bumps get smoothed out to glossy perfection.

I’m loving this on my hands, but I think I will absolutely adore how this will look as a pedicure – bliss!  I’m just so happy that I’ve found an aqua shade that I feel comfortable and confident sporting – yea for joining the rest of the population! 😛  I know I’m fussy when it comes to finding colors I feel are flattering, but if you’re not feeling good in what your wearing, then that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

What do you think of Wednesday?  Can it join other aqua hall-of-famers?  What’s your favorite aqua shade?

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A Nail Polish Fitting For It’s HP Namesake: Zoya Cho

*Of course, I do not KNOW if this polish was named after Cho Chang from Harry Potter…it’s just that she’s the only Cho I know, and it seems to suit her personality (more on that below).

So, a lot of the Spring collections didn’t really grab me that much in the end; as we drawer nearer to the release of the Summer collections, I realize just how few shades in the current season piqued my interest.  I considered a few from Essie’s Navigate Her collection – A Crewed Interest, Ole Caliente – but decided to pass in the end.  The shades in the OPI Holland collection were quite pretty, but none seemed well suited for my skintone – I only picked out two of the twelve.  I’ve been hemming and hawing over butter London’s Bossy Boots, but feel that I waited SO long that now the time has passed.  However, one shade that I was certain I wanted from the beginning was Zoya’s Cho from the True collection – a French Vanilla cream with the barest hint of shimmer. I don’t own many true neutral shades, as I tend to favor color over subtlety, but every so often I get the urge to wear something demure, and I decided that I should broaden my choices.  Cho is a lovely, warm-toned shade that I just knew would look flattering on my skintone, so I ordered it sight-unseen from Nail Polish Canada, for $8.75CAD (which is about $2 cheaper than it is here in town).

Above photos in artificial light

The first thing I noticed upon applying Cho was that it was just like many other pale, creamy shades – tricky to apply.  Shades like this are notorious for applying streaky (what’s the reason for that BTW? Anyone??), and this was no exception.  It wasn’t a terrible hassle, but it required three coats to reach full opacity with no patchiness or see-through spots.  The formula was of medium thickness and flowed easily enough, but just didn’t want to easily cooperate.  I think these are times when Zoya’s smaller brush works against it, as it would have been quick and easy with a wider brush with only a few strokes required (which would likely have minimized the streaking).

With flash

In any case, I got it on, and waited for the magic.  Essie’s Jazz, a cool-toned neutral that almost leans grey, makes my hands look stunning and elegant and quite frankly, awesome for being essentially a non-color.  Cho, on the other hand, was flattering but kind of…boring (and this is where the Harry Potter reference applies – Cho Chang was super lame!!  Crying all the time?  Helping rat out the D.A.?  UNCOOL, Cho, Uncool).  So uh, yea.  That’s essentially how I felt about this polish.  More effort than it was worth to end up not stunning me in the least.  Like Cho Chang, I didn’t HATE it, because that would imply I felt strongly about it, and that I did NOT.  It was just there – nice enough, but with no pizzazz for me to feel like it will ever be chosen over any of my other polishes.

Just for a quick reference, here are all three of my neutral polishes together (yes, only three…c’mon, my whole stash hasn’t even hit 100 yet! Gimme a break!):

Left to Right: Zoya Cho, Essie Jazz, OPI San-Tantonio

Left to Right: Essie Jazz, Zoya Cho, OPI San-Tantonio

The good thing is that they are vastly different from one another, so that might give Cho an extra boost in the repeat wear category, since she doesn’t have any competitors.  Ah well…I rarely wear a nude polish anyway, so no big issue.  And after wearing that for a few days – I’m ready for some color again!!!!

What do you think of Cho?  Lame like the HP character?  Or are you totally digging it??

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Nothin’ Like a Good Haul to Warm the Cockles of My (Cold) Heart

Remember how I said last week that I change my mind constantly? Yeah, well, here we go again.  I was all set to write a post about how my love for nail polish seems to be waning, how I just haven’t been ~feeling~ it lately; most of the new shades coming out aren’t piquing my interest at all. OPI’s Muppet collection – hated it; Deborah Lippmann’s festive glitters and shimmers – fun but a little OTT for me; China Glaze’s Let It Snow polishes – same old (snooooze).  Not that I’m all Grinch-y/Ebenezer Scrooge-y during the holiday season – Christmas is my favorite time of year and I’m getting super pumped and in the spirit in most other ways.  It’s just that lately, the lacquers have been… lacking for me (sorry, I had to :P).

But, thankfully, there is a silver-lining to my ramblings story.  For the past few weeks, I have been checking Nail Polish Canada every day, waiting for the new Zoya Holiday collection to come out (it takes forever for us to get the collections in-store here).  While I appreciated the whole collection, I fell madly and deeply in love with Kissy, a hot pink & holographic bar glitter polish.  Finally, today was my day – there it was, the Gems and Jewels collection in all it’s glittering glory.  The appearance of this collection also meant something else – that I could finally order the other shades I had on my wish list too!  Aside from Kissy, I will concede that there are a few other polishes that have caught my eye, though I’ll be up front – I just like to have one or two polishes from each collection, even if I don’t love them…I dunno, kind of a weird beauty OCD or something (though I’m REALLY not going for any of the Muppets collex, no way, jose).  Also, the polishes I wanted are not readily available in stores around Halifax, so it made sense to wait and just do one order, as you get free shipping after $29.  It would have been silly and impatient of me to order them sooner, though admittedly I came close to the breaking point a few times.  I managed to keep my composure/will power intact, but just barely.  It’s been a hard couple of weeks.

Zoya Kissy

ANYWAY.  Kissy finally being available online is not the only YAY! part of this story.  Aside from ordering Color Club’s Beyond the Mistletoe (a pretty pale seafoam green glitter from their current holiday collection), due to a promo running until Nov. 30 (code TRYSOULSTICE446), I was also able to choose a free polish from the new vegan brand Soulstice Spa (I selected Milan, an orange-based red with gold microshimmer).  On top of that, the site miraculously had in-stock and on sale the Color Club shade Wild At Heart (from the same named collection), a vibrant purple holo I’ve been stalking for a while.  And on top of THAT (I know, right?!), they also had the Color Club duochrome Alias (from the Alter Ego collection) on sale as well.  WTF!?  It’s just too much goodness at once, I know, hard to believe. Two brands of polish I’ve never tried; all 5 for about $30 (tax incl. & free shipping).  It’s been kind of a great day, what can I say?

Here are some shots of the mini-haul shades for your viewing pleasure 🙂

Color Club Alias

Color Club Wild at Heart

Color Club Beyond the Mistletoe

Soulstice Spa Milan

Needless to say, I will have a lot of inspiration coming my way in the nexk week or so to pull me  out of my polish doldrums.  I have only 9 polishes left that I haven’t yet swatched for the blog, which also puts a smile on my face as I originally had around 25-30, and that number was static for a while because I kept buying new polish LOL.  I hope to swatch the rest of them before these new ones come in – I’d like to keep the non-swatch pile down to a manageable level if I can!  So, be on the lookout for a deluge of polish posts coming your way 🙂

Quick details on the above mentioned polishes and CAD prices (on
Color Club Polish – regular $8.00, select shades $4.80-$6.00 on sale
Zoya Polish – $8.75 (in-store between $9.00-$11.00)
Soulstice Spa Polish – $8.50

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Some Kinda Gorgeous: Zoya’s Cynthia

I was going to post something else tonight, but when I was reviewing photos of different product swatches I’ve taken in the past couple days, I was mesmerized by how GORGEOUS this polish is!  Holy crap!!  And I just had to share it with you ASAP.

Cynthia is from the ‘Smoke’ side of this Fall’s collection from Zoya, and somehow, despite all the beauty blogs I read regularly, I don’t think I’ve seen swatches of this shade done justice properly.  Now, I don’t have a great camera – in fact, my camera is kinda crap – but I think the shots I’ve taken capture Cynthia pretty accurately.  Let’s check them out, shall we?In natural light, the polish is a dusty, dark indigo – it looks exactly like the bottle shade.  Very sophisticated and cool.In the shade, the polish looks almost black, and impossibly glossy.  As you may know, I’m not too into near-black shades, but for this polish I’ll make an exception, because…POW!  Look at that!!  GAWD.  These photos were taken under indoor lighting.  And note – this is just the polish alone, no top coat, so it’s really just.that.shiny. all on it’s own.  The indigo tones are easily apparent, and just so insanely, amazingly beautiful – I can’t even stand it. I find this shade makes my hands look so elegant, and because it’s a deep dark shade, it’s got an edge to it too.  I am in total and complete love.

As for the formulation, it’s near perfect – so easy to apply, but it’s thin, so it needs two thick coats or three thin (my preference).  It’s a touch jelly-ish, which is kind of interesting, and helps give it that juicy quality.  This is an absolute must-have shade, in my books!

Just as a heads up: I’m in the (slow) process of reviewing a few different skin care products, as well as MUFE’s HD Primer and Microfinishing Powder, so in the meantime, I’ll likely be showing more and more polish shades to fill the gap until I feel like I can accurate review all of the other products.  Hope you don’t mind 😉

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Another Oldie: Zoya’s Edyta

Though my true love affair with nail polish started about a year and a half ago, I wasn’t as good at posting swatches and reviews of shades until more recently.  Because of this, there is somewhat of a backlog of polishes in my stash that are from previous collections that never got any love – until now.  Only 15 more shades to go! 😛

Here’s (another) polish from Fall 2010 – Zoya’s Edyta, a deep shimmering olive with some serious luminosity goin’ on. With the olive/khaki/army green trend going strong, this still fits the bill, but with a little extra punch – some major shimmer/glitter action!  In the swatch below, it reminds me a bit of a green version of Graphite!Edyta is fairly reflective, and looks almost metallic here, but with the added shimmer particles it steers clear of that territory altogether on the nail.  Gold and green micro-shimmer punctuates the shade and give it more depth than expected at first glance (click the above photo to really see the various colors!).  In the right light, the luminosity really comes to life.As per usual, formulation was Zoya-awesome: two easy flowing, thin coats to opacity – no streaking, pulling, or patchiness.  Removal is a touch of a chore due to the high shimmer content, but nothing truly off-putting.

While Edyta is a beautiful polish, no doubt, my interest in the shade has waned considerably as newer shades have crossed my path.  There are only so many colors that have captured my heart indefinitely – otherwise, they’re just like that quote about friendships coming into your life for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”  In this case, it was just a season – and it gave me a lot of joy at that time!  And now……I’m kinda over it 😛

Are there any polishes in your stash that you once loved but now have lost the love?  Do you keep these shades or pass them for other people to appreciate them?

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Bringin’ Back the Polish: Zoya’s Anja

It’s going to be a couple quickie posts for the next few days, as I’m working double-time: tomorrow at my normal day job, then right to Mills Brothers to work Clinique’s GWP all evening – and again all day Saturday and Sunday.  Phew!  It’s gonna be a long, hard weekend but I have Monday off so it’s not all bad 🙂  And it should be busy so hopefully the days go by fast!

Anyway, here’s some pics of Zoya’s ‘Anja’ from the Fall 2011 Smoke Collection.  The whole ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ collection kinda rocked my socks off, I don’t think I’ve ever purchased more than two shades from a polish collection before, and with this one I got four – two from ‘Smoke’ and two from ‘Mirrors.’  It covered such a great spectrum of shades and finishes, just really stellar.  Good work, Zoya!  And keep it coming 🙂

Anja is a beautiful, glossy, dark plum-red creme.  In some lights it leans much more plum – as below, in natural (but not sunny) light:…and in some light it’s more burgundy red (indoor lighting):…and still in other light, it’s essentially black-red (indoor lighting):I love it in all types of lighting, but I think I like it best when it leans more red.  I’m not really partial to black nail polish and I don’t want people to see my polish and think it’s black.  But this polish is so gorgeously glossy on it’s own (this is just with two coats of polish, no base or top coat), that in all ways it looks beautiful!

Formulation was standard Zoya, easy application with two coats, and if you were in a real hurry you could have gotten away with one as it’s a slightly thicker formula.

I ordered mine online from as I was impatient to wait for them to FINALLY arrive here in Halifax (which ended up being almost two months later!), but you should be able to pick these up at any Zoya retailer in your area now – in Halifax, notably at Jay Wells Salon on Barrington or Be Well Spa on Robie.

Are you into polishes that veer near black?  Do you favor cremes like I do, or prefer shimmer/glitter/metallic/etc.?  What collection tickled your fancy this season?

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