August 29, 2015

[Press Release] Zoya Nail Polish Exchange!


ZOYA NAIL POLISH EXCHANGE
…because healthier is happier!

NOW THRU 9/12/15

Trade in your brands for the smart choice today! Not only was Zoya Nail Polish the pioneer of the BIG3FREE and the BIG5FREE movement, we're technically 8-Free since our formulas have never included ethyl tosylamide, xylene or parabens. As the trusted brand among professionals and women who want cutting edge color with the safest formula available,  we want to give you the opportunity to trade in your unwanted brands for a healthier alternative - especially since many of you are concerned about the current formulas that you are using. Let's make it the standard that #HealthierIsHappier!

* DETAILS HERE

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Leave it to Zoya to make the best of a bad situation in the nail polish world! This promo is essentially 50% off of 6 to 24 Zoya polishes or more- with free shipping!




Will you guys be jumping on this offer, and exchanging any polishes?

August 28, 2015

Nailstalgia: Illamasqua Baptiste [Swatch] [Nail Art]


Friday! Oh, yea, and it's already the last Friday of the month, which means: time for another installment of Nailstalgia!

This time I'd like to show you Illamasqua- Baptiste!



I'm not sure of Baptiste's original release year (if anyone has this info, please let me know!), but it was definitely prior to Winter 2009 when it was re-released as part of the Boo! Pantomime Duo (in which Boo! was the new layering shade).




Baptiste is a deep, saturated purple shimmer. I've seen this described as a red-based purple, but I really think the base leans cooler, and the dense shimmer is much warmer, giving a more red-based flash.

I believe Baptiste is sort of similar to Chanel- Taboo and China Glaze- Let's Groove, and is fairly dupish to Milani- Deep Thoughts and Essie- Sexy Divide.   

Artificial light, two coats:


Closer!





Accent:


The designs on the accent nails were done with X-pattern stencils from Whats Up Nails. The glitter polish is Illamasqua- Spartan, and was sponged on to build up density quickly. I was really pleased when I peeled the stencils off!



Formula: It has a medium viscosity (slightly thinner than Illamasqua's normally thicker one), and is so smooth. It paints on easily, self-levels, and you can get this nearly opaque in one careful coat. I used two for swatches! Very nice!

If you love shimmer and/or purple polishes, I'm sorry, but you need this! It's probably one of the best purples I own! So vibrant! 




What do you think?

August 26, 2015

Mail-time: ILNP Fall 2015 Collection!


Hey everyone! How's it going?

Today, I've got a super exciting mail-time complete with bottle shots to share: the ILNP Fall 2015 collection! I was thrilled to receive these, and can't wait to get swatchin'! Let's get into it!

Here's Mister Dog:


What do you have there, Ham-dragon?


Oh, no biggie- just 17 brand new ILNP shades!

Just kidding!


Ham was definitely more interested in the frozen green beans I was using for rewards, though:





Want to look at some polishes?!



There are 17 shades in the Fall collection: lots of Ultra Holos, holographics with flakies, one new Ultra Chrome, one new Holo Ultra Chrome, two new Ultra Chrome Flakies, an interesting flecked/ holo/ shimmer polish, and two more dense silver flake holos along the same lines as Money Bin, Shoreline, Pink Mimosa, Happily Ever After, & Fame.

I need a bigger mirror- I could barely fit all 17 in one shot!

I broke them down into two groupings. New Ultra Holos, holos, and holos with flakes!


Everything else!




First Class, Clockwork, Spiced Eggnog

First Class and Clockwork are new holo formulations with dense, metallic silver flake. They are in the same "family" as Pink Mimosa, Shoreline, Money Bin, Ect. Spiced Eggnog is in a class all its own! It has holo shimmer, red-orange flecks, as well as golden shimmer!



Glory, Greatness, Cameo (H), The Road To Awe

Glory and The Road To Awe are new Ultra Chrome Flakies, and Greatness is (I believe) Glory's Ultra Chrome shifting counterpart. Cameo (H) is the new holographic version of Cameo, released this Summer!


Mountain View, After Midnight, Lulu

Mountain View and After Midnight are gorgeous vampy holos that also have small flake particles. Lulu is a scattered holographic.


Dream Girl, Pretty Little Liar, Diablo, Overnight Bag

Dream Girl is a new Ultra Holo, Pretty Little Liar and Diablo are holos, and Overnight Bag is a holo with small copper flake.


Top Down, Maiden Lane, Mona Lisa

These three are all beautiful, new Ultra Holos.

Prepare your body for some macro!

Diablo, The Road To Awe, Cameo (H)


The Road To Awe


Greatness


Glory


Clockwork, First Class, Dream Girl


Top Down


Top Down, Maiden Lane, Mountain View


Mountain View


First Class, Spiced Eggnog, Dream Girl


Lulu, Pretty Little Liar, Overnight Bag


Pretty Little Liar


Overnight Bag

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm blown away! It's collections like these that keep my interest in nail polish from waning, and I can already tell that photographing them is going to be really fun!

Pre-order for the ILNP Fall 2015 collection polishes begins Friday, September 4th | ILNP.com



*Disclosure: polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.

August 24, 2015

Zoya Focus for Fall 2015 [Swatch] & [Review] [Nail Art]


Howdy everyone, and welcome to a new week!

Today I have swatches of Zoya's Fall 2015 Focus collection of cremes to share with you! If you missed the other half of their Fall offering, Flair, it's right here!



First, here is Zoya- Charli:


Charli is a dusty, olive-taupe. It dries down quite a bit darker than liquid bottle color.

Artificial light, two coats:




It can look greener or more brown/olive/taupe-y depending on lighting. Love this neutral though, and it wasn't entirely unflattering on my skin!

Watermarble accent:

Sia, Desiree, and Charli with Charli* as base. (*Note: having a non-white base does affect the color-accuracy of colors on top)

Formula: Amazing! It's thick, self-leveling, pigmented, dries down super quickly for a creme, AND it's opaque in one coat! That's right, folks, a one-coat-wonder! I did two coats for swatches on most nails, but one nail just has a single coat. Can you discern which? I'm not telling!
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Next, Zoya- Desiree:


Desiree is a rich, cool-toned brown creme. It dries down slightly darker than bottle color (but not as much as Charli) and a little more cool-toned as well.

This one didn't intrigue me in the bottle, but once I got it on my nails...so luscious! Really love! I want to eat it?

Artificial light, two coats:




Formula: Very similar to Charli, but ever so slightly thinner (some people might prefer), and maybe slightly less pigmented also. I had one coat coverage on one nail with a thicker coat, but that nail ended up with slight bubbling, so it's safer to do two normal coats with this one. TL;DR: Very nice, opaque in two coats! 
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Here is the blue, Zoya- Sia:


Sia is a saturated, medium royal blue creme. Really a vibrant and crisp, wonderful blue!

Artificial light, two coats:




Formula: It's definitely thinner than the first two, but still what I think most people would consider a medium or medium-thick formula. It's insanely pigmented too, and I nearly had it opaque in one coat, with just some thinness at the tips. Two easy, self-leveling coats were perfect, though! Creamy and perfectly workable! A++

Zoya does note that you should protect your nail beds with a good base coat for this one, since its high level of pigmentation can lead to staining. That's always a good idea, but for what it's worth, I didn't experience any issues just swatching or removing it. 
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Here is the first of two reds in the collection, Zoya- Hannah:


Hannah is a medium, neutral-toned red creme. In some lights it looks warm-leaning, and definitely pulls warm red on me, but I think it's still fairly neutral. Zoya describes Hannah as a "classic" red, and I think it is!  I think it would look pretty nice on most skin tones.

Artificial light, two coats:




Thumb:


Formula: It's very creamy and smooth- with a hint of a crelly feel. (And it is sheerer than the others.) It self-levels instantly and is very easy to apply! It builds well and is about 95% opaque in two coats, so I left it there! Super nice texture!
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Next, the other, deeper red, Zoya- Janel:


Janel is a darker red creme with slight warm undertones. It could be because it's darker, but it looks cooler-toned than Hannah does to me. And, there is almost a milkiness or dustiness to it.

Artificial light, two coats:




This would not be a red I'd choose for myself, but it will look great on most people with neutral or warm undertones.

Watermarble accent:

Lidia, Hannah, & Janel with Hannah as base

Formula: It's just as creamy and easy to apply as Hannah, and maybe slightly more pigmented too. Self-levels, builds well, dries quickly- opaque in two easy coats!

This one (and Hannah to a lesser extent) does want to stain the skin and surrounding cuticle area upon removal. That's pretty normal for pigmented reds, but just thought I'd mention it. 
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Finally, the purple, Zoya- Lidia:


Lidia is a warm-toned (red-based), deep purple creme. It can look nearly black in very low light, but mostly you always know it's a purple. Still very vampy, though!

Artificial light, two coats:




Formula: It's smooth and creamy like the others, but the viscosity is a bit thinner- not too thin, though- and it's also slightly sheerer than some here. The second coat feels a lot thicker since it clings to itself so well, and it builds to perfect opacity in two easy coats!
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Overall, I love this collection merely for the formulas alone! I think these are the best creme formulas Zoya has ever put out! They really seem high-quality: pigmented, self-levelling, nice viscosities! All were easy to use and apply, and that is amazing across an entire collection!

Color-wise, I'm really digging Charli for being different, and Sia for being so saturated as a medium blue. Desiree was also a surprise favorite! The two reds are OK, and I'm sure they will appeal most to some people. Lidia is probably fairly dupable, but still really lovely.

Oh yes, and they all watermarble well! Sia and Lidia, especially, spread super nicely in the water!

The single criticism I can think of is that a couple of these (Charli, Desiree) dry a bit darker than liquid bottle color, so what you end up with may not be exactly what you're expecting. That's not really a big deal to me though when the formulas are so excellent, and actually seems to be a fairly common occurrence with certain creme formulas.




Thoughts?

Will you be trying any of these Focus polishes?



*Disclosure: polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.