Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texture Polishes - Zoya Carter, Zoya Sunshine and Loreal Too Dimensional?

Ahhhh texture polish....either you enjoy it or you don't....and in my case, I enjoy it but I have discovered that I have to be in a very specific mood to wear it.  My favorite textures are the Zoya PixieDusts, JulieG Gumdrops and Nicole by OPI textures.  There are a couple of the OPI Liquid Sands that I like as well, but most of my texture polish collection falls into the former 3 brands.  Today I thought I'd show you three of my more recent nail of the day (NOTD) textures....

Recently I picked up a polish from the new Loreal Gold Dust line of textured polishes to give it a go:

This is Too Dimensional?, a medium blue with a subtle on-the-nail shift to green courtesy of some gorgeous shimmer.  I was happy to discover that Loreal did a great job in hopping on the texture bandwagon and I've been eyeing other colors in the collection ever since.  Still haven't bought more, but I know it's inevitable that I will.  :)

Next are two Zoyas that I couldn't wait to get my hands on, and they sure didn't disappoint:

Ahhhhh Carter, you beautiful thing you.  Everything you've read about Carter is true...a stunning dark purple with lighter pink/purple glitter that is unlike anything else out there in the polish world (at least, imo).  I'd read that Carter is a bit sheer and requires 3 coats for opacity, so I was a bit heavy-handed with my application and got away with 2 coats.  SUCH a gorgeous color, well done Zoya!

Not to be outdone, here is Zoya Sunshine, a beautiful deep navy texture that looks lighter in photos than it does in real life.  I wanted pics in full sun because of the pretty sparkle in this polish.  I bought the brighter/lighter Zoya Liberty when it came out last year and liked it well enough, but the deeper navy blue of Sunshine appeals more to my conservative side and I love it.  The sparkle isn't quite as prominent in this polish as in other PixieDusts, but I like that about it!

More photos of all three polishes after the jump:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Zoya Brown & Green

Wow, I just am not clever enough to come up with good blog titles!  Oh well, let's just get straight to the photos....

This mani was created using Zoya Yara (green with prominent gold shimmer), Zoya Nia (dark dark dark brown creme) and China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (gorgeous shimmery white).  I did this a couple months ago, when apparently I was feeling the "fall colors" vibe.  :)  Both Zoyas were a breeze to apply and only needed 2 coats each.

The above photo in full sun is the most accurate representation of the polish colors.  I really liked Yara despite the gold shimmer...which is gorgeous, don't get me wrong...but generally I don't like anything gold, and Yara surprised me in a good way.  I personally feel that it's a somewhat seasonal color, and this is coming from someone who doesn't adhere to the "rules" of seasonal colors.  I'll definitely try to wear it in the spring/summer and see if I change my mind, but I just get the feeling this one looks best in the cooler months of the year.

That China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around is a little finicky, as are most whites, but the shimmery white is absolutely worth the effort of needing 2-3 coats.  Two coats if you're covering with other colors, like I did, but you'll probably need 3 coats if you wanna wear it alone.

What do you think?  I love comments, don't be shy!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Christmas Mani!!

Hi all!  (well, I think I only have 2-3 followers -- hi guys! -- but I'm gonna pretend I'm talking to the whole wide By some miracle, because I'm always late with stuff, today I have my Christmas-themed mani to show you.  I don't know whether I'll be doing another one for Dec. 25 or not, so I figure I'd post this one to you ahead of time.  I haven't posted my Halloween mani yet, but I'll get around to that eventually....

(I'm sorry for the slightly blurry photos in this post, some days are just harder than others to get a good photo)

I started off with a base of Zoya Seraphina, a really interesting polish from their Zenith collection.  In the photos, it comes across as a white with silver shimmer/glass fleck, but in person it's predominantly silver, toned down with a white base.  It's tough to describe, to be honest!

I loved this far more than I expected to.  I think it's a perfect base for holiday/winter art, and it's quite festive and pretty by itself, too.

More pics after the jump, including the right-hand photo of this mani....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Zoya Monica & Nicole by OPI Shoot for the Maroon

Today's post continues to demonstrate my recent habit of combining 2-3 untried polishes into one mani in an effort to reduce the guilt I feel about the polish pretties that haven't had their time in the limelight.  Lol....okay, so that sounded way more dramatic than it needed to be, but if you're reading nail blogs then you'll understand what I mean. 

The base color here is Zoya Monica, a looooovely dark purple with some grey undertones that applied in typical Zoya form -- easily, quickly, no problems.  (oh hey, look at that bare spot on my index...damn macro photography, lol.....that's user-error courtesy of my penchant for speedy application)  I'm a newbie to the blogging world, but my polish habit started about 18+ months ago and I've since come to the realization that my favorite colors to wear are usually greyed out purples, blues, greens and pinks, and Monica fits the bill quite nicely.  It's a little darker on the nail in lower lighting (though it NEVER looks black), but I like dark anything on my nails so I'm okay with that fact.

For my accent nail, I grabbed my dotting tool and applied some dot flowers in Zoya Purity (white) and Nicole by OPI Shoot for the Maroon (shimmery burgundy/maroon).  I quite like the contrast between Monica and SFTM here, and even though my heart belongs to cremes, I can always go for a little shimmer accent.

More pics below the jump, to include a rare photo of my right hand where I did the opposite color combo in order to swatch that NOPI.....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zoya Suri and NOPI Kendall On The Katwalk

I have so many polishes in my untried pile that I've recently taken to putting together "skittle" or "skittlette" manis in order to try out more than one polish at a time.  Though as I'm typing this, I realize that's not what I did for today's manicure....whoops.  Oh well, at least it'll explain why I've been posting more manis of this style lately, I guess I'm just in the mood for jazzing up my nails a little more than your basic swatching mani.  I've also been completely inspired by the YouTube video blogger Young Wild and Polished, who does the cutest skittle manis ever, imo.

Anyway, here is a skittlette mani I did a couple weeks ago:

The purple gorgeousness is Zoya Suri, a polish I picked up in one of their more recent sales, though it wasn't one of the post-Thanksgiving flash sales.  Zoya basically has all of my money from the past couple months, they've been running AWESOME sales leading up to Christmas.  I resisted getting this color for a while, I have TONS of purples (many of which are Zoyas, which is known for creating awesome purples) so I felt that Suri was one I could pass up.  Then, a sale and my weak self-control hit at the same time, and I tossed Suri into my cart.  I'm glad I did's such a gorgeous, royal, glowy purple once on the nail, about 100x better than what you see in the bottle.

The glitter is Nicole by OPI Kendall on the Katwalk, one of the few glitter bombs I love.  It's the perfect size glitter (ie. micro) in blue and purple that really packs a punch.  From using this in the past, I would have expected to say that the formula is good and easy to work with for a glitter, but either the cap was loose on mine or it's just been too long since I used it, because it was gloopy and a real pain to apply this time.  I added what seemed like way too much thinner after I did this mani and it didn't seem to make much difference.  I'll check it again soon to see if it's better or worse, and in the meantime I'll be keeping an eye out for another bottle....THAT is how much I love this glitter polish.  :)

More pics after the jump:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why choose? Duo Mani with Elevation Echinops and Sally Hansen Satin Glam Taffeta

I returned home from a few days at Disney to find two packages containing pretty new polishes (haul photo below), and I couldn't wait to try 'em out!  But on the drive home, while thinking about what I'd be putting on my nails that evening, I couldn't stop thinking about a recently purchased Sally Hansen of the new colors in their Satin Glam line, Taffeta.  So what does any polish enthusiast do when they can't decide what color to wear?  Wear 'em both!

That gorgeous lighter blue/lavender is Elevation Polish "Echinops".  The shimmery particles are holo, but it's a very subtle holo and there wasn't even a little chance that I'd capture it in photos so you'll have to take my word for it.  :)  The purple/orchid color is Sally Hansen Satin Glam in Taffeta, which dries semi-matte without a topcoat, but I top coat everything usually, and to be honest, I preferred Taffeta with the topcoat.  It's pretty as a matte, but a top coat brings out all of these beautiful tiny blue and pink shimmers in the orchid base and I just love it!

Oh yeah, here's the haul photo of my new Elevation and KB Shimmer pretties:

I run a jewelry shop on Etsy and recently sold some pieces that gave me a bit of "mad money" so I immediately ordered these polishes that have been on my lemming list for a while:  ELEVATION - Echinops (blue), Rapa Nui (teal) and Khongoyn Els (brown), and KB SHIMMER - Turbulence (grey) and Plum Tuckered Out (purple), and I also got a some KB Shimmer cuticle oil to try out.

As much as I like the two-color mani, it was kinda screaming for a little art, so I dug out the brushes and a dotting tool and did this:

Despite being less than skilled at freehand nail art, I still enjoy doing it and I don't think this is TOO bad for it being my first attempt at snowflakes.  I used Essie No Place Like Chrome for the silver.

More pics after the jump, should you be interested!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Wrapping Paper!

I was in the mood to play around with my striping brushes the other night and decided to make some simple nail art involving traditional holiday colors in foil/heavily shimmered polishes.  Here is the result:

For what I imagined in my head, those stripes would be little thinner (and certainly with cleaner edges), but overall I was happy with the outcome.  I think these nails ended up looking like Christmas wrapping paper...?

I started out with a base of Zoya Shay, which....HELLOOOOO mannequin hands!  Goodness, I think I've inadvertently found the closest match to my skin tone that exists.  Shay is lovely, easy formula, and has a silvery shimmer that keeps it from looking flat...but I have to admit that I didn't keep this mani on for long since it was just a little too creepy to look at my nails and see virtually no distinction between them and my skin.  :)

More pics after the jump, if you're interested....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ulta Femme Fatale + stamping

It's taken a few days for me to put this post together, and I'm not entirely sure why it took so long since I loved the mani (wore it a few weeks ago) and was all kinds of pleased with my stamping efforts.  I mean sure, it's not perfect or anything, but for a novice stamper I thought it turned out pretty well.

I'm thinking that my pics aren't all that great on this one.  Ulta Femme Fatale is the base color and in real life it's a very pretty dark burgundy/maroon that I really liked a lot.  I love deep, dark vampy colors with my pale skin and (relatively) short nails and this was no exception.  Easy formula and application, a bit glowy due to the shimmer that's a few shades lighter than the base....but I have to admit that my photos don't show the polish's true beauty. 

But hey, let's enjoy the mani anyway.  :)  More pics/thoughts after the jump: