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Saturday, July 31, 2010

NOTD: Orly Shine w/ Lippmann Happy Birthday

Back last year before Deborah Lippmann released Happy Birthday, I fell in love with a swatch of it on Vampy Varnish.  Of course, right before it released, her little blog tirade regarding Funky Chunky made the rounds and I kind of didn't want to give her my money right.  :O  So, once it released, I waited.  Once I was ready to buy it, it was kind of in short supply, then I forgot about it (plus, Tim was laid off in the fall/winter and $18 on one polish just wasn't in the cards).  Until, I'd see a swatch of it, that is.  Then I'd fall in love with it again and decide to splurge.  Of course, my brain is a sieve, so I'd immediate forget about it, and never got it. 

Then all this hubbub regarding Bad Romance and Across the Universe happened, and Lippmann glitters found their way back to the forefront of my brain again.  As BR and AtU are only at Nordies (or were, I think they may have since sold out or been put on B/O) and I refuse to pay Nordies high shipping (seriously... free shipping on $200 :|  Dang, Nordstrom), I figured I'd satisfy myself with Happy Birthday until I could pick up AtU and BR.  I used my new job as jusitfication, but really... I just wanted Happy Birthday.  LOL

I got her today, so I just had to show her off.  :P

This is 3 coats of Orly Shine (from the Foil FX collection) with one coat of Lippmann Happy Birthday, one coat of SH Insta-Dri, and one coat of Orly Matte Top (which gives it a satin finish).  I heart this.  <3  I can't wait to dry this glitter TC on just about every color I can think of.  It really does look like a birthday party just exploded on my fingers.  It's that awesome!

Orly Shine and Matte Top are available at e-tailers and Sally's (though MT may no longer be available there) and Lippmann Happy Birthday is available at Deborah Lippmann's own website and various online beauty beautiques.
Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Blogger Round-Up #1

Welcome to the first edition of The "A Polish Problem"'s Friday Blogger Round-Up!

Each week, I plan on showcasing new and new-to-me blogs in this post.  If you have a new blog or if you are existing blogger and not in my blog roll, feel free to email me or leave a comment in the current "Round-Up" post, and I will put you in the next week's round up. 

If, by chance, I miss you in this week's round up.  Please let me know and I will edit the post to add you and add you to next week's round up.


Chromatic Misadventures

Painted Tips

Susie's Home and Hobbies


Aurora's Nail

OMG Look at these Nails

Never Unpolished

Original Wacky

diamants ebenes nails

Polish Packrat

My Nailz

Portrait of Mai


Posh Pigments

Addicted to OPI-yum

Nail Junkie

All Things Nails

Green-wich Village

Whew!  20 new blogs this week.  I encourage you to check them ALL out!  There are some great new nail blogs out there (as well as some great existing blogs that I just wasn't aware of).  I think it's awesome that more and more people are blogging about polish.  Makes me feel not so crazy.  LOL.

*this post was created and scheduled at 12:30p Thursday afternoon.  If you posted in the previous post prior that time, I will add you to next week's round up.
Friday, July 23, 2010

New Blogs

I recently received an email from a new blogger asking me to add her blog to my blog roll, which I plan on doing after I type this post.  However, it got me to thinking about the various bloggers in the past that have written me asking me to add them to my blog roll.  I always try to add new bloggers to my blog roll, but I have never actually promoted a new blog on A Polish Problem.  Hence, this post...

I would like to start promoting new (and new to me) blogs on my blog.  I remember when I first started blogging it felt like I was putting my heart and soul into the blog and yet I was getting no readers.  And while this blog was not started to get readers, it's also nice to know that someone is interested in what you are writing.  Thus, I want to do all I can to help out new bloggers. 

Please feel free to always put your blog URL with your comments.  In the future, I may get a new comments section that will allow you to attach your blog URL to your name, but for now, you can always type it out.  Also, please do not hesitate to ask me to add you to my blog roll.  I know I am horrible at this.  I'm always afraid I'm going to upset someone, but you will never upset me.  I will be more than happy to add anyone with a new blog or anyone with an existing blog that I've failed to add.  Please feel free to pass on the URLs of your favorite blogs, as well.  Just in case I don't have them listed.

To have me mention your blog and add you to my blog roll, please either reply to this post or email me.  I am notoriously bad at checking comments,  so emails are preferred, though either is okay.  Each Friday, I plan on posting a blog round-up. Though, I will skip today and post any I receive today on next Friday's round-up.  It doesn't matter if I get 1 or 100, I plan on rounding-up all new (and new to me) blogs on Fridays, so don't worry if you are the only one to email me.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

RBL Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty (press release)

Ji announced this press release on RBL's facebook page.  You can find it here.  Ji sent samples to the Nailphile, Scrangie, and ALU.  Currently, only Scrangie and the Nailphile have their swatches up.  Once ALU gets hers up, I will try to modify my post.


The opulent fabrics, quiet luxury and return of ladylike fashions brought to mind the British Royal family to Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Ji Baek. No, not the current resident of Buckingham Palace but the colorful (and often short-lived) wives of Henry the VIII.

“I fell in love with the Tudor dynasty in the novel Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel,” says Baek. “The more I learned of the queens’ wardrobes—the layers of embroidery, embellishments of pearls and fur and rich jewel toned fabrics—the more I saw a parallel with what’s going on in fashion this fall.”

“Givenchy’s intricate brocades, Lanvin’s feather-festooned metallics, and the strong, powerful neutrals at Celine all served as starting points for Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Autumn/Winter color collection. Each color has micro particles of pink, blue, green, gold, and silver to add iridescence similar the tiny colored threaded that give brocade fabrics their depth of color.”

Henry first married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand who launched Christopher Columbus’ New World adventure. She was also Europe’s first female ambassador and a proponent of women’s education. Like this revolutionary free-thinker, Catherine is an intense royal purple with a pewter sheen.

Anne Boleyn was rumored to be a witch, with a tiny mysterious sixth little finger that she hid with long, pointed sleeves that ended above her middle finger. Draw attention to your own regal digits with Anne, a complex gray-green with a jewel-like pink shimmer finish.

Jane Seymour was thought to be Henry’s favorite wife as she was the only wife to give him a son, Edward VI. Sadly, she died soon after. Reputed to have created beautiful and elaborate needlework, her namesake polish Jane is at first glance a simple pale pearl. However a mere royal wave reveals washes of pale pink and lavender.

Catherine Howard was Henry’s teenage trophy wife, nineteen to his near 50. Said to be a “rose without a thorn,” this beguiling beauty unfortunately turned too many heads, resulting in the loss of her own. Her ethereal beauty is captured in Catherine H., a shimmering Wedgewood blue, with just a hint of a darkening sky.

“While their inspiration may be extraordinary women who lived over 500 years ago, this shades are perfectly modern with this season’s fashions—from the armor-like structure at Calvin Klein and Gucci to the sumptuous feminine silhouettes at Prada and Louis Vuitton,” says Baek. “This season marked the return of the ‘woman’ as opposed to the ‘girl/waif.’ Why be a sugar-coated princess when you can rule as a gorgeous Queen?”

Rescue Beauty polishes are available at www.rescuebeauty.com or at Rescue Beauty Lounge on Gansevoort Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The polishes sell for $18 a bottle.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail polishes are created with resin and high molecular polymers to improve flexibility, durability and high shine. They contain no harmful or drying Touluene, Formaldehyde, or DBP.


Back when I was a junior in HS, I memorized Henry VIII's wives in order.  I became fascinated with the period, and it's something that's stuck with me.  Unfortunately, due to an incident when I was 4, where snuck and watched "A Tale of Two Cities" from behinds my mom's chair, I can't watch any program where people get their heads chopped off.  :S  So I haven't seen "The Tudors" or more than 2/3rds of "The Other Boleyn Girl".  Nonetheless, I'm still in love with the time period, so I give Ji major props for her inspiration for this collection (and I'm seriously planning on reading "Wolf Hall" now). 

I have looked at the available swatches and Scrangie makes anything swoon-worthy.  However, as much as I love the inspiration behind the collection, I'm not so sure I'll be picking any of them up.    Catherine H is very pretty (y'all know me and blues), and I may end up picking it up if it's still available at RBL's fall sale.  However, as for the other 3, I just don't know.  Maybe the shimmer is something that has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.  Don't know.  And while I realize that Zoya Julieanne and Edyta are not dupes for Catherine and Anne, the colors seem close  Becuase of this I don't know if I can justify the $18/bottle price.  Especially, when there are so many other polishes I want this season.  I do think the colors are beautiful, it's just that RBL is much more of a commitment than throwing a couple of bottles of ChG or Orly in my cart at TD.

Ji has mentioned these are LE with the pre-order date TBD.  She will announce via email at on FB when the pre-order goes live and I'll be sure to post it here when it happens.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Misa What I Like About You Collection (press release)

I just received the new press release from Misa Cosmetics for their Fall 2010 Collection, and I must say, the artwork and the colors are far more appealing than last year's collection.   Misa's back to doing what they do best, shimmers and (possibly) duochromes.  I'm already dying for Quirky Smile and It's You.  Plus, they mentioned Poisoned Passion which is easily my favorite Misa collection. 

Fall in Love This Fall With Misa Cosmetics’ What I Like About You Collection
July 19, 2010 – Philadelphia, PA. Sometimes it’s easy to know just what you want, but
you’ll immediately know what you need when you lay your eyes on the Misa Cosmetics
What I Like About You Collection, six new shades for fall that plumb the depths of
color intensity. You’ve explored the dark side of romance with the Poisoned Passion
Collection; now fall in love with the ecstasy that love can provide through these dare-
you-to-look-away glimmering hues. Just like a budding affair, these colors will spark
inexplicable emotions and near-obsessive thoughts. Go ahead—indulge your deepest

Fall 2010: What I Like About You Collection
Quirky Smile: Something about his lilted smile lets you know he’s interested…and
this shimmering Prussian blue is no less attention-grabbing. However, this rich shade
invites you into deeper territory—what’s lurking beneath? In this case, you’ll discover a
polish that evokes stormy skies and churning seas, a perfect metaphor for love’s mixed

Like It Like That: You can’t avoid feeling upbeat when a relationship is going just right,
or when gazing at nails that are the perfect shade. Just try to block this candy apple
green out of your mind; when you like it like that, why deny yourself the pleasure?

Spinning Out of Control: Sometimes you just can’t control yourself—and you
wouldn’t have it any other way. Embrace that euphoric feeling with a brooding
cobalt blue-violet that says, “Don’t stop this merry-go-round; I’m enjoying the ride!”

It’s You!: Searching for the perfect mate is like searching for the perfect nail polish
shade: When you find it, you know right away. Like a perfect-match partner, this
multilayered iridescent hue offers the best of both worlds: a smoldering forest green shot
through with copper ribbons that glimmer and twinkle perfectly in candlelight.

Perfect Kiss: Don’t blush! When you recognize a good moment, grab what’s yours: the
perfect kiss. A well-planted smooch can provide material for days of daydreaming, and
this vibrant fuchsia is equally fantasy-inspiring. An eye-catching color like this one will
have any man’s lips quivering uncontrollably.

When U Say My Name: Chances are, your man has plenty to say, but nothing is sweeter
than when he whispers your name while in a sweet embrace. Blissfully sink into the
moment while donning this sultry rust, and don’t be afraid to demand, “Say it again!”

Again, and I know this is becoming a theme for me with the fall collections, but I can't wait for this one either.  Maybe it has to do with the time of the year, or the fact I'm sick of summer and ready for fall, or maybe it's just that the polish companies are knocking it out of the park this year, but there so many new collections that I can't wait to get my hands on.  This Misa collection is no exception.  It's You and Quirky Smile are at the top of my list, but I think I could get them all and be perfectly happy.  :)
Monday, July 19, 2010

New Job

As you may know, I'm a SAHM.  I normally try to swatch/review/blog, when the kiddos are in bed or when I'm able to take a few hours for myself.  However, I recently received a job offer from a WAH company and I accepted it.  This particular job lasts until October/November, but I may be working other projects in the future. 

I have been training this week and I am more than a little overwhelmed, and I have a bad feeling this job will be taking up all my free time.  Hopefully, I'll be able to find a happy balance between being a mommy, working, and blogging.  I know that when I have a lot on my plate, my blogging naturally suffers, so finding that right mix will be key.

I am training tonight and tomorrow, but hopefully, I'll be able to post something on Wednesday, as I have that as a free day.
Saturday, July 17, 2010

One should be able to blog without the fear of cease and desist letters...

A few months back, there was a bit of controversy in the nail blogger/MUA NB world about several companies being relabled Diamond Cosmetics.  Not that there's a problem in that, Diamond Cosmetics, afterall, does have a private label division.  The issue, of course, being... why pay boutique prices when you can essentially get the same product through Diamond Cosmetics directly for $2?

One of those brands that was linked to Diamond Cosmetics, along with several others, was Ginger + Liz.  Ginger + Liz is not a brand that I know too much about.  All I know is that they are in the $10-12 range per bottle and are promoted heavily on All Lacquered Up.  However, several people feel that Ginger + Liz is relabeled Diamond Cosmetics and have said so on various blogs and on Twitter.  One of those people is Sara at Daily Polish.  Unfortunately, Sara is the one person to get a cease and desist letter from Ginger + Liz's attorney.  Please keep in mind that Sara purchased all the products she reviewed and compared.  They were not samples.

Whether or not you agree with Sara is beside the point.  Ginger + Liz has mentioned, through All Lacquered Up, mind you, that they source their nail polish through a supplier in California.  Personally, I believe some of the swatches look similar to Diamond Cosmetics and some are not dupey at all.  However, the real point is that no matter what Sara, or any blogger for that matter, believes and posts about, s/he should be able to do so with out the fear of being reprimanded or sued.  A blog is just a collection of personal opinions, and most of us, save for the aforementioned All Lacquered Up, do so without any real monetary compensation.  We just do it because we enjoy it.  Well, in my opinion, it's hard to enjoy something if you feel like your opinions could be potentially used against you in a lawsuit. 

I am a little worried that this, along with OPI's recent legal scare tactics, regarding their upcoming Burlesque collection and leaked press releases, are leading us down a scary road.  I don't want to be afraid to express my opinion on a certain product, whether that be good or bad.  As long as I'm not posting scandalous pictures or defaming someone's personal character, I should be allowed to freely express my opinions without the fear of being sued.

I do not plan on purchasing any Ginger + Liz products in the future nor do I plan on promoting them on this blog.  I realize they are a small boutique brand and probably still trying to find their way in the nail polish world, but, IMO, threatening a nail blogger, is not a way to positively and effectively promote their brand.  All that does is make you, as a company, look bad.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Barielle Review

About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to try some polishes from Barielle. As I’d never tried the brand before, I was super excited. I picked 3 I thought looked awesome and let the other 3 be a surprise. The 3 I picked were Myrza’s Meadow, Falling Star, and June Bug (sense a glitter theme? LOL), and the surprise 3 were Uninhibited, Cherry Pie, and Bikini-tini.

My picks…

Myrza’s Meadow – Light yellow-based green shimmer with pastel multi-color glitter. This is a very pretty color light of green and it’s one that doesn’t look bad with my pink skin. However, as much as I liked the color, the formula drove me a bit batty. It was extremely thick. As I don’t like to alter the formula of a polish with thinner before I review it, I tried to swatch it as-is. However, after struggling with it for 10 minutes, I gave up and ended adding, in total, about 8 drops of thinner. The thinner made it much more workable. Pic is 2 coats.

Falling Star – Medium toned, dusty blue crème with copper glitter. This color is from the fall 2009 All Lacquered Up collection (I’m still jealous. LOL). I wore this one as a full mani as soon as I got it and I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. The picture is lighter and much brighter, than IRL. The formula was a bit thick, but nothing like Myrza’s Meadow. I was able to swatch it without adding thinner. I will, however, add a couple drops of thinner to make it a bit more manageable in the future. Pic is 2 coats, and aside from thickness, there were no issues.

June Bug – Light, dusty blue-grey crème with turquoise micro-shimmer and fuchsia glitter. Aside from the color differences, it’s a bit reminiscent of Falling Star (crème + glitter), though June Bug has micro-shimmer as well. I called this one a crème with shimmer rather than a shimmer polish, because unlike a true shimmer, the micro-shimmer seemed like it was sitting on top of the base rather than being integrated into it, if that makes sense. It was crazy unique and one of my top 3 of the polishes I reviewed. The formula was thick (thicker than Falling Star, but nowhere near Myrza’s Meadow territory), but this color is so unique, it’s definitely worth the extra effort and/or the addition of thinner. Pic is 2 coats.

And now for the 3 surprises…

Uninhibited – Pale white-gold shimmer with green, blue, and pink micro-shimmer. White-gold is one of those colors, I keep looking for, never to find one I truly like. This one is pretty, but I found myself getting frustrated with the formula, yet again. Like the 3 above, this one formula was thick, but with thinner it will work much better. It was an odd consistency. I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be a sheer on an opaque, but the color was very pretty. I think I would prefer to see it a bit on the sheer side, used as a layering polish. I would love it see it over a metallic gold, like OPI Bling Dynasty. Pic is 2 coats.

Cherry Pie – Red crème with a slight-brown base. This is an amazing red crème. It’s a very classic, almost pin-up red, but there is a slight brown tone to the base that makes it different. I was incredibly surprised by this one. It was opaque in 1 coat and the formula was perfect. If you like red crèmes, this one is great to have in your collection because it’s essentially “one and done”.

Bikini-tini – Bright purple-pink jelly. This is a beautiful color for summer and would look great with a tan, especially for a beach pedi. It had that great hard candy finish of a jelly. I did have slight VNLs at 2 coats, but that’s just the nature of a jelly finish. Formula, while not as fantastic as cherry pie, was fine, definitely not thick or unruly. Pic is 2 coats.

All in all, there isn’t a one of these colors I don’t like, though there are some I like more. Than others If had to pick favorites, based on color alone, they would be Falling Star (seriously… it’s in the APP top 20), Cherry Pie, and June Bug (in that order). Also, I know I kind of harped on the formula of several of these, but honestly, a thick formula doesn’t really bother me. I know some people don’t like dealing with it, but if you have a bottle of thinner in your arsenal (which all NP addicts should have, IMO), the thickness, really isn’t an issue. If you like the color, the application can be fixed. You just add a couple of drops, shake, lather, rinse, repeat, until you get a consistency you are happy with. Just be sure to start small, as you can always add more, but you can’t take away. Also, DO NOT add nail polish remover as a substitute for thinner. It may work initially, but what you will end up doing is ruining your polish. Remover is remover and thinner is thinner. LOL.

Okay, back to the Barielles… I’m so happy I got a chance to review this brand. From looking at their website, they have several interesting colors, and, though it was last year’s collection, I still think it’s totally awesome that they joined forces with a blogger to create a collection. Shades by Barielle is available on Barielle’s website. They retail for $8 and Barielle always offers Buy 2 Get 1 Free, and orders over $50 get free shipping.

These were sent to me for review

Press Release: New China Glaze Collections for Fall 2010

Here's another press release I received today regarding upcoming collections...

Find Strength in the Power of Pink
China Glaze Nail Lacquer Gets the Gloves Ready to Join in the
Fight Against Breast Cancer

Los Angeles, Calif. (July 2010) – Join China Glaze Nail Lacquer this October in the battle against breast cancer, one nail at a time! The professional line of nail lacquers brings on the fight with three powerful pinks. Inspired by the women who fight everyday and those that support them in their battle, these fabulous shades are sure to help you defeat the toughest opponents with style and class. China Glaze representative Rachel Schafer voiced that “in an industry dominated by women, for women, it is important that we strive to work together towards finding a cure.”

The three colors in “Fight Like A Woman” include:
Encouragement – A baby pink shimmer that brings on the cheer
Endurance – Power through the punches with this raspberry shimmer
Empowerment – Stand up tall with this cotton-candy crème on your nails

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization dedicated to the science of cancer and promoting international collaboration in cancer research.

The “Fight Like A Woman” Collection will be available at professional beauty supply stores and select salons this September. Availability will be very limited internationally.



China Glaze Introduces Three Limited Edition Halloween Polishes

Los Angeles, CA – (July 2010): Sink your claws into these three ghoulish glitters from China Glaze, perfect for a night of fright! Uniquely alluring and unlike any other Halloween colors before them, this collection is sure to entice. Colors in the promotion include:

· Zombie Zest: A mossy green shade with gold flecks of micro glitter.
· Ick-A-Body: A dark green base chock full of orange glitter.
· Mummy May I: Vampy, wine colored purple with flecks of hot pink glitter.

The 18 piece display will be available at Sally’s Beauty Supply Stores only and the 4 piece with free Fast Forward Top Coat will be available at all other beauty and nail supply outlets, stores and e-tailers.


Okay, I will probably pick up Fight Like a Woman because of what it represents (that, and the colors sound pretty), but I will definitely be picking up all of the Awakening polishes., and I'm kind of dying a little bit inside because I have to wait until September to do so.   LOL. 

Press Release: Orly Plastix

Okay, I know everyone is waited with bated breath for Orly's new, upcoming Cosmic FX collection (I drool a little bit when I think of it), but to tide us over, I have the press release for Orly's new Plastix collection.  I know the press release has made the rounds and ALU posted swatches awhile ago, but I figured I'd post it nonetheless.

Embrace Retro Textured Classics with…
ORLY’s New Plastix Collection

ORLY, the company that continually pioneers the Nail Lacquer arena with the most cutting edge colors, technology and textures, introduces the Plastix Collection. Complementing the Fall 2010 runway looks that featured bright neon colors amid shiny black plastic, latex, and rubber reinventions of vintage must-haves, Plastix evokes the vintage classic trend with four new lacquers and a unique new formula that coats the nails with a smooth glossy matte “plastic” finish. The exclusive finish and texture is a first in the nail category, delivering a monochromatic, shiny and rubbery look that takes experimentation to an entirely new level, with the focus being on both the distinctive nail surface, as well as the latest in color trends. The unique look can not be achieved with color alone as the finish is a must for recreating the true “plastic” statement.

Old School Orange: classic orange
Retro Red: traditional red
Purple Pleather: shiny purple
Viridian Vinyl: glossy blue-green

All ORLY Nail Lacquers including the Plastix Collection are free of DBP and all traces of Toluene, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin.

The Plastix Collection Lacquers will be available beginning July 2010 for $7.50 each. ORLY Nail Lacquers and Treatment products are available at orlybeauty.com, Sally Beauty, Ulta and fine salons and spas throughout the U.S. and in over 70 countries worldwide.


As for me, I'm intrigued by these.  Last year, I was hesitant to the matte trend, then I warmed up to it, decided I hated the OPI mattes, loved the Orly mattes (and matte top coat), and decided I preferred a satin finish to a straight up matte finish.  Thus, I think I will really like these.  I especially want to try the purple and the green. 
Monday, July 12, 2010

OPI Hong Kong Collection Re-do

About a month ago, I posted my review of OPI's spring 2010 Hong Kong Collection.  I'd just bought a new camera and was determined to make the macros work.  Unfortunately, while it's a great mega-zoom camera, it and macros, don't get along, so I was forced to go back to my Sony Cybershot for nail blogging.  An unfortunate casualty of my camera issues was my review of this collection.  Quite frankly, the pictures sucked.  I hate feeling like my work isn't up to par, especially on a product review, so I decided to do a few (okay 3/4ths) of the pics in the collection.

As my the text in my review is still accurate, I won't move it all over here.  Please click the link above if you would like to read my ramblings.  I will go on a repost pics of entire collection, though 4 of the pics were ones that looked okay in my previous review.

Here are the ones I feel still look okay:

Hot & Spicy - warm orange-based coral

Bling Dynasty - yellowish gold with pink and green shimmer

Jade is the New Black - slightly dusty medium-toned green creme

Suzi Says Feng Shui - dusty medium-blue creme

And now here starts my re-do of the pictures.  I've been having issues with my nails splitting, so I just decided to cut them all down.  That's why the last 2 pics have different nail lengths than the other 6.

Pearl of Wisdom - mother-of-pearl sheer

A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find - bright orange-based red.  Much darker than Hot & Spicy.

Red My Fortune Cookie - Clear, bright, glossy true red. 

Meet Me on the Star Ferry - metallic mauve with pink and green shimmer (the same shimmer in Bling Dynasty).  Leans slightly plum.

Chop-sticking to my Story - medium, red-based, nutmeg brown

Dim Sum Plum - bright, pinkish-purple berry.  More berry than plum.

Lucky, Lucky Lavender - milky, light-medium, pink-based lavender.  More pink than purple.

Panda-monium pink - milky, pale, baby pink.  Lucky, Lucky Lavender's little sister.

Whew.  Now I can quit stressing.  LOL. 

These were sent to me for review

Zoya Mimi/ Zoya Julieanne Comparison

I plan on having a big comp post for the Wicked and Wonderful collections within the next few days, but I wanted to go on and do this one, as I specifically mentioned Mimi in my review of Julieanne. 

Of course, I have to do my usual "it's purple, so it's not color accurate" disclaimer, but I'm pretty sure you can still see the difference in the 2 colors.

Bottle on the left is Mimi.  Bottle on the right is Julieanne.

L-R: Mimi, Julieanne, Mimi, Julieanne.  Please enlarge to see detail.

As you can see, they are both purple and sparkly, and both have some form of golden shimmer, but after that, the similarities end.  Mimi has a grape base and more vibrant shimmer, whereas, Julieanne has a charcoal base and more subtle (though still sparkly) shimmer.  The golden shimmer in Mimi is more of a bright gold and the gold in Julieanne is more of a burnished gold.  Julieanne is a much more complex color than Mimi, but they are both beautiful.  Bottom line, if you love purples... yes, you need both.
Sunday, July 11, 2010

Zoya Wicked Collection

This is the second half of Zoya fall collections.  If you are interested in part one, Wonderful, click here.

Wicked is a collection of 6 metallics.  They are very similar in finish to Zoya's summer Sparkle collection. which I will review, when I receive the last two I ordered), but in more fall-appropriate colors.  Like Wonderful, these are named after DWTS participants, only with Wicked being named after the pros, and the lone female judge.  A fact, I'm sure, that matters not to most of you, but being a DWTS fangirl, I totally geeked out when I saw the press release. 

Again, here's the ad for the collection
and the color descriptions from Zoya:

Zoya Wicked Nail Color Collection

Edyta (ZP525) - fern green sparkling metallic
Julieanne (ZP526) - byzantium purple sparkling metallic
Cheryl (ZP527) - chocolate bronze sparkling metallic
Karina (ZP528) - garnet red sparkling metallic
Carrie Ann (ZP529) - venetian red sparkling metallic
Kym (ZP530) - cardinal mauve sparkling metallic

Also like Wonderful, the colors on these were very descriptive.  However, the only one I had to google was "cardinal mauve" and nothing popped up.  I assumed it has something to do with Catholic cardinal, but the more I think about it, the more it may be about the bird  The color is actually very similar to the wings of a female cardinal.  But, more on Kym in a bit.  I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Here are the swatches:

Edyta – There has been a lot of good buzz about this color on various blogs and Twitter. And let me tell you… none of it has been unwarranted. Edyta is incredibly complex. Sure, you see the “fern green sparkling metallic”, as described my Zoya, but what you also see is so much more. The shimmer is an antique gold, with a smattering of copper and light green thrown in, and the base, along with green, is a gunmetal or charcoal grey. Because of the complexity of this color, it’s one that could be easily worn by green lovers, and scared-to-wear-green-on-my-hands-ers, alike. The formula is perfect, and though it’s a metallic, it applied like crème, and was very similar to the formula of Zoya Kelly or Cola. Pic is 2 coats, but honestly, I would have been okay at one.

Julianne – Like all dark purple shimmers, this one did not photograph correctly. It’s a bit deeper and richer, IRL. When I first saw this, I thought it may be dupey for Zoya Mimi, but while they are both purple metallics, that’s where the similarities end. Julianne is darker than Mimi and it also has a smokiness that Mimi doesn’t have. Like Edyta, it looks like it has a charcoal grey base. The shimmer is lighter purple, red, and, to a lesser degree, gold. Because of purple’s hate of cameras, this is one I wasn’t too excited about, as it’s hard to capture its true color. However, like Mimi, this one has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. If you love purples, you are going to love this one. Application was fine. The formula wasn’t as nice as Edyta, but wasn’t difficult to work with. Pic is 2 coats.

Cheryl – Zoya’s description of this color as a “chocolate bronze sparkling metallic” is right on the money. It’s chocolate, bronze, and definitely made for fall. The tonal shimmer in this one, while more subdued that some of the other Wicked shades, is still very pretty. This was another one with a very good formula. I had no application issues and pic is 2 coats.

Karina – As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, I kinda cheated and wore this one as a full mani before I’d had a chance to sit down and swatch the collection. I was in love with then and I’m still in love with it now. It’s an amazing color, and part of me hates that (the DWTS fangirl part) because it was named after Karina Smirnoff, one of the pros on DWTS, and she makes me so stabby. Grrr. :P Oh well… I’ll let it slide, because this color is so fabulous! It’s a bright, slightly blue-based, red metallic. The shimmer is tonal, like with Cheryl, but it’s very sparkly, unlike with Cheryl. Again, this one had a great formula and was perfect at 2 coats.  A perfect Christmas color.

Carrie Ann – Because of the bottle color on this one, I was not looking forward to swatching it. Not because it was an ugly color, but because it looked so complex, that I knew my little brain was going to overload. However, once I put on the second coat, the true color was much easier to describe. This is a medium-toned red metallic with fine golden shimmer. This picture is not color accurate.  It’s much lighter than Karina, and due to the golden shimmer, it almost looks like a foil. Like Karina, this one would be perfect for Christmas. Pic is 2 coats, and I had no application issues.

Kym – Is a medium-toned, mauve metallic with tonal shimmer. At some angles, it looks more orange or rust, and in some angles, it looks more rosy or pink. However, I wouldn’t call it a duochrome. Of all the colors in this collection, this is probably the one I wouldn’t wear. It’s a pretty color, but I just don’t see myself reaching for it all that often. Pic is 2 coats and it was a little thin, but not hard to work with.  As I mentioned above, it does remind me of the dusty-pink/orange of female cardinal wings, but I may be off base and stretching it to find the "cardinal mauve".  LOL.

All in all, another winner from Zoya.  Edyta, Julianne, and Karina are knock-outs, IMO, and Carrie Ann, is close behind.  Yes, Karina and Carrie Ann are overdone colors, but there's something about the metallic sparkle in these that sets them apart.  I could take or leave Cheryl and Kym, though pretty and sparkled like mad, wasn't really my speed. 

These went on sale July 1 on Zoya's website and retail for $7 each or $36 for the full set.

I am working on some comps with both Wicked and Wonderful and I hope to have them up within the next few days.

These were sent to me for review

Zoya Wonderful Collection

So yesterday was Christmas at my house.  My new Dell printer, some stuff for the house, and the new Zoya fall collections all arrived!  The Zoyas were totally unexpected and I can't tell you how excited I was to receive them.  After we got home from dinner tonight, I told my husband I was swatching and to leave me alone.  LOL.  I managed to get Wonderful completed and hope to have the Wicked collection completed tomorrow and posted by Monday.  I also have some Barielles to review, so stay tuned for those. 

Anyway, first up is Zoya Wonderful, a collection of 6 cremes.  When I first saw the artwork for this collection, I was immediately intrigued.  It reminds me somewhat of last year's OPI Espana collection. 

Here are the color descriptions from Zoya:
Zoya Wonderful Nail Color Collection

Kelly (ZP519) - paynes gray cream
Stacy (ZP520) - mahogany red cream (shown)
Burke (ZP521) - sienna red cream
Kristi (ZP522) - crimson red cream
Cola (ZP523) - desert sand red cream
Shawn (ZP524) - myrtle green cream

I love the names of these, btw.  I am a total DWTS fangirl, so I love the fact that each of these, save for Cola, are named after DWTS contestants (Wicked is named after female pros and judge).

On to the swatches...

Kelly – Smokey dark blue/grey crème. Zoya describes this as a “Paynes grey”. I had no clue what that meant, so I checked it out. According to Wikipedia, Paynes grey is a dark blue-grey often used in painting. It’s named after William Payne, a watercolor artist from the late 18th century. See? I'm educational, too.  This is a beautiful grey, but better than that, it’s very wearable. Because of the blue base, this looked very good with my skintone, whereas most greys give me corpse hands. Pic is 2 coats, but I probably could have gotten away with one if I was very careful. I had no application issues, in fact, this one applied exceptionally well.

Stacy – When I first saw the bottle, I thought that the description of mahogany red was going to be way off. Afterall, when I think mahogany, I think of something far more brown than the deep berry shade in the bottle. However, after 3 coats, I definitely see the brown-red. There is a bit of purple in there as well, hence the berry-ness, that keeps it from looking muddy. This will look amazing in the fall. Pic is 3 coats, as I had a bit of an issue with evenness on the first and second coats.

Burke – This color was incredibly hard for me to try and describe. I googled sienna red to try and get some insight and all I came up with were Sienna Miller and a red Toyota Sienna van. :P It’s a dusty medium-toned red crème, but there is also a good amount of pink and brown in the mix. The picture is not color accurate, as the picture makes it look a bit more red than it is IRL.  Pic is 2 coats and there were no application issues. 

Kristi – You know how you search for a perfect color forever and then when you finally find it, it just clicks? Well this is what happened with me and Kristi. Kristi is a clear, bright, pin-up red. It doesn’t lean orange and it doesn’t lean blue. It’s straight up red and I’m in love. OPI Vodka & Caviar has been my HG red for years now, and I think Kristi just surpassed it. It applied well, and aside from faint VNLs, it was fine at 1 coat. Another coat, made the VNLs disappear.  If you are a red creme fan, be sure to pick this one up... you will not be disappointed.

Cola – Aside from the name not fitting in with the rest of the Dancing With the Stars themed names, I think cola is a great name for this polish. If Stacy was a brownish-red, this color would definitely be a reddish-brown. It’s somewhere between Dr. Pepper, root beer, and milk chocolate. This one is another perfect fall polish. The formula was very smooth, like Kelly. Pic is 2 coats.

Shawn – Like the "Paynes grey" of Kelly, I was intruiged by “myrtle green”. A quick search at Wikipedia told me that myrtle green is a color of green that’s slightly darker than spinach. Odd, right? To my eyes, this color is a medium-dark toned green crème with yellow undertones. At one coat, the formula was a little thin, but with 2, it was perfect. Pic is 2 coats.

I love this collection.  I had none of the formula issues that I've sometimes had in the past with Zoya polishes, and several of the colors, Kristi, Kelly, and Shawn, were real standouts for me.  I also really enjoyed the color descriptions of these colors.  From the paynes grey, to myrtle green, to all the colors in-between, I was googling like crazy to see the basis for these color names. 

Wicked is available now at Zoya's website.  It's priced at $7 a bottle or you can pick up the entire collection for $36 (a $6 savings). 

Stay tuned for the Wicked collection, as well as a few comparisons for both collections.

These were sent to me for review
Thursday, July 8, 2010

KOTD: Zoya Mimi w/ Konad White Special Polish

This konad uses 3 coats of Zoya Mimi as a base.  I was a little wary of using 3 coats of a Zoya polish simply because, most of the time, Zoya doesn't play nice with me after 2 coats.  But I had no issues.  I don't know if that's my TC (Rush) or the polish itself, however.  Honestly, when I saw Mimi when various nail bloggers reviewed the Sparkle collection, I wasn't wowed by it.  Just about everyone that reviewed it oooh'd and ahhh'd, but it just didn't do anything for me in pics.  I decided to pick this up (along with Nidhi) on a whim during the Zoya exchange.  Afterall, I already had Charla and Ivanka from the same collection, but I wasn't expecting mych from Mimi.  Well, holy smokes, was I pleasantly surprised when I put it on.  So much so, that I'm planning on picking up Gilda and Alegra (the 2 from this collection that I don't own).  I know everyone claims that Charla is the standout in the collection, and well, it kinda is... but Mimi comes in close behind her (yep... I actually like Mimi a bit more than Ivanka *gasp*).  Mimi is a medium toned byzantine purple shimmer that has the same glass-flecked, foil finish as Charla, and the same golden shimmer, but unfortunately, it just doesn't translate well onto computer screens.  This one defintely is a "try it to really like it" polish.  If you are a purple lover you will love it.  Or, if you are like me, a former purple that has become a bit disenchanted with the color, definitely give this one a try.  It might having you falling back in love with all your purples. 

I then applied a konad design over it using Konad Special Polish in White as the stamp color.  I don't know the plate number off the top of my head, and I'm too lazy to go hunt it out right now, but if anyone is interested, I can check it out in the morning. 

Zoya Mimi is part of the recent Sparkle collection as is available at Zoya.com and at various etailers and on eBay.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

KOTD: OPI What's With the Cat-titude w/ Ogre-the-Top Blue, and Who the Shrek are You

Goodness, that title was a pain to type.  LOL.

This is 4 coats of OPI What's With the Cat-titude as a base with OPI Ogre-the-Top Blue as the stamp color.  I also used OPI Who the Shrek are You for the dots inside the bows.  The stamp is from plate m56.  Even though the base was 4 coats, it dried remarkably fast.  I guess it's a combo of my topcoat (Rush) as well as the fact that each of the 4 coats was very thin.  Ogre-the-Top Blue was okay to stamp with, though it was a little thin for my liking.  I used my dotting tool for the dots.  Again, the formula was a bit thin, but it was fine for the job.  All 3 polishes are in OPI's Summer Shrek Forever collection, and you can pick them up at various retailers, non-discounting e-tailers, Amazon and on eBay.  You can also check TD for the time being as they still OPI colors available as they are liquidating their stock.
Saturday, July 3, 2010

KOTD: China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald with Konad White

This is post #2 in my China Glaze Vintage Vixen Konad Challenge.  I admit, this one is a little odd.  However, I find it completely mesmerizing.  Granted, the finished design was nowhere near what I had initially planned.  I wanted to have mermaid nails, complete with my fauxnad mermaid stamp, but that just didn't turn out.  So I took what I had, ran with it, and created this.  This look has one coat of ChG Emerald Fitzgerald as a base.  I then applied a mix of Zoya Charla and Zoya Ivanka using a detail brush, so my nails had a very underwater look.  The stamp is 3 layers of the fishnet pattern from plate m57.  The first 2 coats are Konad White and the 3rd coat is ChG Emerald Fitzgerald. 

I will have other konad posts using this collection in the near future.

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.



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