Sunday, December 29, 2013

Zoya 2014 Naturel Collection

I have a beautiful collection to share with you before the new year starts. The Zoya Naturel collection is made up of lovely neutrals and orchid shades, and orchid will definitely be big in 2014 since it's Pantone's color of the year
Products sent for review. All opinions are my own. 


As you can see, some of my photos may be a little yellow-tinted or very warm in tone. I tried to keep them as accurate to the polish color as possible, so the background or my skin may look a bit off! But the whole collection is indeed very "warm." From left to right, the colors are:

  • Taylor - light toffee cream
  • Chantal - French vanilla cream
  • Rue - Boudoir blush cream
  • Brigitte - bombshell mauve cream
  • Normani - sable mauve cream
  • Odette - sultry maroon cream



Chantal is one of the lighter neutrals or nudes in the set. It's very similar to Taylor, but is ever so slightly lighter. While they may look very close in the bottle, they appear different on the nail, mostly depending on your skin tone around the nail. While I am very pale, they aren't quite nudes for me though since they are much more yellow-toned, but they're close! I used two coats of Chantal.



Normani is easily the darkest of the bunch. It's a very gray, subdued, neutral orchid color. I quite like it since I tend to like some grayed tones like Zoya Carey and others from the Zoya Feel Collection. Normani is perfect for the upcoming year though since it's pretty much a neutral orchid though! So you can sport this when you can't wear it's brighter counterpart. I used two coats of Normani



Odette is probably the brightest in the collection, and isn't too neutral on its own. It fits in with the subdued purples in the collection, but it is a beautiful shade of orchid on its own. I feel like this one is going to get used quite a lot in 2014! I used two coats of Odette.



Taylor is very similar to Chantal as I mentioned earlier, but I think it's a bit darker and perhaps more on the neutral side. Chantal was a little bright for my skin tone, but Taylor blends in and is a bit more of a neutral nude for me. Again, this may dependent on your skin tone, but I'm loving this one as a great nude polish for myself! I used two coats of Taylor.



Rue is also very close to being a neutral nude, despite it looking pretty purple in the bottle. On skin, it blends nicely with neutral, fleshy tones. I was surprised how subtle it looked next to my skin. I'm pretty fair-skinned and don't really have much for pink undertones when it comes to makeup, but I'll take it! Rue is a nice change from more orange, brown, or yellow toned nudes. I used two coats of Rue.



Brigitte is similar to Rue, but deeper. Since Rue blended in surprisingly well with my skin tone, Brigitte may blend in better with darker skin tones. This one is still gorgeous though, even if you're looking for it to stand out a bit more instead. It's pretty neutral so it doesn't demand too much attention, but it's a gorgeous orchid tinted shade. This one will also be getting used a lot in 2014! I used two coats of Brigitte.


In general, I am loving this collection. I am a big fan of cremes, so I love them all, but they also cover great - I used two coats of each and got amazing coverage, even with the lighter polishes like Taylor!

I'm also just loving the colors. The neutrals are great since they're subdued, but they're still exciting since pretty much the entire collection revolves around purple - orchid, specifically. I'm not typically a huge fan of purples, but these neutral shades are spot on. Plus they'll be perfect for the Pantone 2014 color of the year!

You can purchase the Naturel collection from Zoya.com for $9 each, or get the entire set for $54.

Products sent for review. All opinions are my own. 


Friday, December 27, 2013

Sally Hansen - Salon Effects Nail Strips Review

I've been meaning to try out some nail polish strips for a while now. I got these Sally Hansen Salon Effects ones months ago in my Target beauty box, so I figured I might as well give them a shot!


I'll say right now that I have mixed feelings about this product, but it has both good points and bad points, so I'll begin! The polish strips that I got are called Lust-rous, which looks like a black polish filled with holographic silver and gold glitter. Unfortunately the glitter is not holographic, but is just metallic. Inside the box you get:

  • Instructions
  • Nail file/buffer
  • Cuticle stick
  • 16 nail polish strips (2 packs, 8 strips each)



I apologize for accidentally taking a photo of the non-English side, but the box also boasts that the strips will last up to 10 days. I wore them for a few days, and they seemed to hold up pretty well, aside from where I had failed to apply them properly I guess. So on to the application process.

You may notice that my pinky nail looks the worst. I did that one first, and worked my way toward my thumb, so they gradually get better looking toward the index finger nail. Also the directions recommend doing the thumbs last. I opened one packet of nail strips up and it immediately smelled like real nail polish. The pack had eight strips inside, which were all super huge for my nails, mostly too long.


Each strip is pretty neat since it has two different shaped ends though - one more rounded and one more square. This makes it easier to choose which side will fit your natural cuticle shape. There are also two packs (8 strips each) since each pack is intended for a hand. Well the strips were so long that I ended up cutting most in half, and managed to get all 10 fingers done with one pack! Now I have enough to do another manicure.

Applying them was a little wonky at first. I peeled the backing off (the work just like stickers) and put one onto my pinky, but it didn't stick. So I applied some base coat to help it along. Luckily, the rest of my fingernails played nice and the strips adhered much more easily. I folded the excess over each free edge, and lightly used the supplied nail file/buffer to get rid of the excess. It worked well, except for a couple corners that immediately wanted to lift up.


You can also see that I may not have chosen wide enough strips for each nail, as there is a blank spot along the side of the ring finger nail. It doesn't look bad in person, and is barely noticeable when looking at it head-on. Also, I got better at applying them as I went on, so the middle and index fingers look almost perfect. 

Final thoughts: It was an interesting experience trying out nail strips for the first time, but it went better than expected. They also held up better than expected since I wore them for a few days with minimal wear or peeling. However, I feel like it was actually a bit of work for such a simple design (glitter on black). I wouldn't buy these if they were one solid color or something like this glittery design, but some of the more interesting patterns like hounds tooth or snakeskin I would put the effort into! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rainbow Honey Candy Cane Nail Art

It's almost Christmas, so I'm still going strong with some Christmas themed nail art! Well, I suppose it isn't strictly Christmas related since it's just red and green, and sort of looks like peppermint!


I had bought some holiday polishes from Rainbow Honey and was dying to use them. The polishes also came in a little holiday nail art kit with foils and striping tape, so I used the striping tape as well! The set came with a black polish, but I wanted to use them on top of white instead, so I also used Zoya Purity.


I started off by applying one coat of Zoya Purity. I then applied a thin coat of Seche Vite to help it dry completely before applying tape (I tend to have bad luck with tape, even if I wait a very long time for the first coat to dry!). I then carefully applied four pieces of striping tape to each nail to make my candy cane design.


I applied the green polish, Demeter, first, and then carefully dabbed the red, Persephone, in the larger spots. While they were wet, I lifted off the tape and then applied another coat of Seche Vite to smooth it all out. The contrast looks a little crazy in the photos, but it's more subtle in person since Demeter and Persephone are pretty sheer. They're actually sheer jellies with metallic flakes inside! 


Demeter and Persephone are gorgeous, but my camera just didn't do them justice. They're beautiful and shimmery on their own with the metallic flakes inside, but you can only fully appreciate it by seeing it in motion! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Textured Snowman Nail Art

Seasons greetings, everyone! I know it isn't quite Christmas yet, but I thought I'd do some more holiday/winter nail art while I can. I haven't done too much this year, mostly just the Christmas Lights with rhinestones again (which is also a tutorial post!). So I decided to try doing a snowman instead.


Since I did the snowman nail art over a holographic polish, it's definitely a little flashy. But I like how it makes the plain background pretty exciting, and also makes it look like some shimmery snow. I also only did one little snowman accent on my ring finger, and one on my thumb. I used a couple different textured polishes for the snowmen.


I started off by painting each nail with one coat of Color Club Over the Moon. I was surprised that one coat covered so well! But I was happy since I knew I would be layering on a lot more polish. It's a little thin in a couple spots at the top, but it worked for me.


I then freehanded the tips with OPI Solitaire, and then went over that with Sally Hansen Sugar Fix. Solitaire was a little too shimmery for me, but I had hoped that a little of the sparkle would show through since Sugar Fix is just flat white. It's mostly just flat white, but I tried! I also used a large dotting tool with both Solitaire and Sugar Fix to create the snowman's body. 


I then finished up by dotting a couple eyes and buttons on the snowman, and freehanding a hat, scarf, and nose using black, red, and orange striping polishes. It's not perfect, but I love it! He makes me so happy. I didn't use a topcoat at all since the polishes dried pretty quickly, and I also wanted to feel the textured polish. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Light Nail Art Tutorial

Nail It magazine recently asked me if I would do a tutorial for some Christmas light nails I did last year. You may recall me doing these, and if not, you may have seen them floating around the internet in general! While I can't take credit for the initial idea, I know this design has become very popular and I often see it shared. Well since people like it so much, I thought I'd share the tutorial here as well! And of course, here is the Nail It tutorial I submitted too.


Supplies:

  1. OPI Nail Envy (or any base coat)
  2. Zoya Purity (or any white polish)
  3. Seche Vite topcoat (or another topcoat)
  4. Teardrop-shaped rhinestones
  5. Green thread
  6. Small precision/beauty scissors
  7. Tweezers



First, begin by prepping your nails. Before any manicure I like to file my nails, apply cuticle oil or balm, and then apply a basecoat! My favorite is OPI Nail Envy. While my nails aren't perfect, it helps keep them relatively healthy.


Next, apply one coat of your white polish to all nails and let it dry. Don't worry if it's streaky, we'll be applying another coat along with the thread and rhinestones!


If you haven't already, start sorting out the rhinestones you are going to use. I set aside five rhinestones of each color (at least four colors). I made my left and right hands slightly different to switch it up. I also set aside 10 pieces of green sewing thread, each piece being about 1 inch long or 1.5 inches long.


Next, apply a second coat of white polish to one nail. Do one nail at a time since you'll be placing the rhinestones and thread directly into the wet polish. I created a loop with the thread on my middle finger nail and placed the "lights" around it with tweezers.


Now repeat that for the rest of your nails, again, working one nail at a time so the polish doesn't dry before you reach each nail. It's a little tedious at first, but you get used to it!


As you can see, I got a little white paint around my nails and the thread is hanging off a little. I nipped off the extra thread with my precision scissors and then cleaned up around each nail with a little acetone.


You're done! Except for the topcoat (optional).


The rhinestones really catch the light without topcoat!


Now you can decide if you want to apply topcoat or not! I've included photos with topcoat (below) and without topcoat (above) to help you decide. I love how it looks without topcoat, but I know the rhinestones just won't last as long without it, so I opted to seal them in with topcoat anyway.


You can see with topcoat it's a little messy up close, but it looks great and glossy for normal wear. If you apply topcoat, apply it generously, and don't be afraid to dab it on a little, as just trying to brush it on won't get all around the rhinestones.


That's it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Claire's - Holographic Chromance

I have a bit of a unique polish to share with you all today. This one is from Claire's, which has some pretty surprising polishes sometimes. It doesn't appear to have a unique name, but it does say "holographic" on it. I decided to try it out and see how holographic it was.
Update: The name of this one is apparently Chromance, however mine must be missing the label! 


As you can see, it's pretty shimmery and shiny! But it's still not exactly what I would call "holographic," since I usually associate that term with polishes that are very shiny and often have a rainbow effect to them. This one is actually more like a duo chrome or multi chrome.


The main color appears to be purple or blue, but as you turn the bottle, a brighter purple appears along with some hints of coppery orange. It's a bit sparkly, as it also seems to be made up of very tiny multi chrome particles, so it doesn't just give one smooth, multi chrome finish. 


It's also a bit sheer on its own, but can be built up with two or three coats. I opted to apply it over Wet n Wild Black Creme though. All of these photos show just one coat of this Claire's holographic Chromance over one coat of Black Creme. Such a simple manicure to achieve, but I think it looks amazing!


As you can see, the colors look different depending on the viewing angle. It mostly looks purple or blue, but the coppery flash you get on the side is an amazing contrast! If Claire's makes any more like this, I'll have to pick them up. This one was only $4!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rainbow Honey - Lifestream and Emerald Weapon

Okay, so I've been a little addicted to Rainbow Honey polishes recently. But I do owe it to some of their beautiful creations for helping me get back into doing my nails and blogging again. Rainbow Honey is easily becoming my favorite indie - I can't get enough of their stuff!


This time I decided to pair Lifestream with Emerald Weapon. A lot of the weapons from Part III make great bases for the other glitter toppers in Parts I and II. The weapons are very opaque and shimmery on their own, but the glitters just really make them pop!


Emerald Weapon is a but unique. It's definitely an emerald shade, since it often looks very green, but also looks very blue. In these photos and in the bottle, it appears pretty bluish, or somewhat teal. It looked like that a lot on my nails, but in some light, it also looked like a much brighter green! It's also very shimmery.


So I could appreciate Emerald Weapon and its beautiful shimmer, I decided to use Lifestream as just an accent and left the other nails alone. I applied it to both my thumb and ring finger nails, and it only took one coat! Lifestream is so full of both shimmer and glitter - you can see it added even more bluish green shimmer and has tons of micro glitter. There are some iridescent bar glitter pieces that may hang off your nails a little, but they're manageable and lay flat otherwise.


I really love both of these polishes! Emerald Weapon is gorgeous on its own, and Lifestream is just packed with glitter. I can't believe one coat of it covered so well! I'll have to try it over an even darker polish next time, perhaps black. 

You can still purchase polishes from Rainbow Honey's The Final Battle collection for $10 each on rainbowhoney.com.