Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[Review] Maybelline Express Finish Nail Polish for Fashion Week Spring 2012

A couple weeks ago, I wandered around CVS looking for the new Maybelline Express Finish nail polishes for the Spring 2012 Fashion Week Collection.  I had given up when I spotted the display in an odd location, placed above eye level (and I'm 5'10") and pushed back on the top shelf above the beauty tools.  My local CVS places make-up displays all over the store, so if you can't find them, look all around your store.  I bought five of the six Maybelline polishes in the little display, so I have five out of the total eight limited edition polishes (two more colors are showcased on the bigger Maybelline Fashion Week displays).

[Maybelline] Love Me Lavender, Tulip Tango, Orchids Oh My!, Peachy Petal, Posy Pink
Maybelline Express Finish Nail Polish for Fashion Week Spring 2012
I bought the colors Orchids Oh My!, Tulip Tango, Love Me Lavender, Posy Pink, and Peachy Petal.  I love all of the colors on me, but I don't love all of the formulations.

[New Maybelline Polish] Love Me Lavender (pointer), Tulip Tango (middle), Peachy Petal (ring), Posy Pink (pinky), and Orchids Oh My! (thumb)
Orchids Oh My! :: This is my favorite of them all.  This polish has a medium-to-thin consistency, and looks opaque in two coats.  It's not at all streaky, and it almost looks like it has a jelly finish.  It is a gorgeous vibrant raspberry color.

Tulip Tango :: This has a similar consistency to Orchids Oh My!  It is a bright pink coral.

Love Me Lavender :: This has a similar consistency to the last two.  It is a bright medium lavender color. It looks very similar to Essie Splash of Grenadine, which I already own (whoops!).

Posy Pink :: This is one of the problem polishes.  It is very chalky and streaky.  I needed at least three coats to fix the streakiness, and even then, the texture looked uneven on my nail.  The color is a lovely light bubblegum pink which isn't too harsh against my skin.

Peachy Petal :: This suffered from the same problems as Posy Pink: chalky and streaky.  The color is a bright light pink-leaning peachy tangerine, which I think I might actually be able to pull off.  I'm a cool-tone, fair-skinned girl, and normally I look sickly in peaches or tangerines.

I do highly recommend Orchids Oh My!  Tulip Tango and Love Me Lavender are great quality polishes if you don't already have similar colors.  I don't regret buying Peachy Petal because it is a unique color, but I could do without Posy Pink.  Because these polishes are hits or misses, I haven't bothered picking up the rest of the collection.

[New Maybelline Polish] Love Me Lavender (pointer), Tulip Tango (middle), Peachy Petal (ring), Posy Pink (pinky), and Orchids Oh My! (thumb)
Overall, these polishes are great colors, but they are hits or misses with the formulations.

[NOTD] Color Club Blushing Rose with Glitter

I don't like Color Club Blushing Rose.  It's from the new Color Club Blossoming Collection for spring 2012.  It is incredibly streaky and does not even out on my nails.  I had to apply four coats to hide the streaks, and I would have had to applied five if I wasn't covering it with glitter.  The color is also too stark against my cool-tone pale skin.  It is a milky bubblegum pink that is almost neon.  I had been hoping it would be less stark and more muted.  I hate it.

Shown below is 1 coat of Orly bonder, 4 coats of Blushing Rose, 1 coat of China Glaze Techno (on all fingers except my accent fingers), and 1 coat of New York Color Grand Central Station.  My accent fingers have 3 coats of Sally Hansen Strobe Light.  So my accent fingers have 9 coats of polish - 3 of those glitter - to remove.  That will be fun.

Color Club Blushing Rose (4 coats), China Glaze Techno (1 coat), and Sally Hansen Strobe Light on accent nail (3 coats)

I do love the glittery China Glaze Techno.  It looks great with only one coat, and it sparkles in the sunlight.  It sparkles so much that my camera had a difficult time focusing on my nails.

China Glaze Techno sparkling in the sunlight

[Review] New Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Polishes

I bought five of the new Wet n Wild Megalast nail polishes.  I think some of the colors are new, and the entire line has new packaging.  The sturdy new bottles and pretty colors grabbed my attention.

[New Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Polishes] Undercover, Sugar Coat, On a Trip, Disturbia, Candy-licious
The new bottles contain .45 ounces of product instead of .3 ounces.  The new bottles are square(ish), are made with a thicker glass, and have "Wet n Wild" inscribed in the sides.  However, some of the bottle bases are not flat, so they may wobble a bit.

The new brushes are wider, which may be a good or bad aspect depending on what your prefer.  I generally prefer more narrow brushes.  Unfortunately, the new brushes are very fluffy, making it difficult to precisely apply the polish.  Also, the brushes have inconsistent quality.  A couple of my brushes are symmetrical while others are asymmetric, twisted, or have irregular length brush hairs.

New Wet n Wild Megalast nail polish brush
The consistency of the nail polishes is the same, from what I can tell.  They have a thick consistency, and most of these polishes go on opaque in one or two coats.  (Sugar Coat needs three coats because it is a little streaky and lighter.)  I do like wider brushes with thick polish, so that is a good match.

Here are a few of the Megalast manicures I've worn already.  All are shown over my Orly Bonder basecoat with a coat of New York Color Grand Central Station on top.

Wet n Wild Megalast Undercover (2 coats, sunlight)
Wet n Wild Disturbia (2 coats, sunlight)
3 coats Wet n Wild Megalast Sugar Coat topped with 1 coat Essie Kisses & Bises (sunlight)
The polishes I have tried have all lasted me a few days without chipping.  Undercover lasted five days!

I bought these polishes for only $1.19 each at RiteAid when they were on sale.  Normally, they cost $1.99, which I think is still a good deal.

Overall, I think the Wet n Wild Megalast polishes are excellent quality nail polishes for the price as long as you don't mind the brushes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

[NOTD] Orly You're Blushing

I'm changing my manicure right now, but I have been wearing Orly You're Blushing for the past three days.  You're Blushing is from the new Orly Cool Romance Collection.  While all the other gray-purples I have tried have been too dark, You're Blushing is the perfect light gray-purple for my pale skin.

You're Blushing is shown in sunlight as two coats of color over Orly Bonder and topped with New York Color Grand Central Station.

Orly You're Blushing
Orly You're Blushing

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[NOTD] Orly Bon Bon

Orly Bon Bon is one of my new favorite nail polishes.  It is a very pale, dusty lavender.  It is sheer, but the color can be built up to opaque.  I wore it almost-opaque with three coats of color.  I used Zoya Anchor for a basecoat and New York Color Grand Central Station for a topcoat.

Orly Bon Bon

[NOTDs] Winter Manicures

This winter, my nails and cuticles have become very dry and very brittle.  I tried to trim my nails with nail clippers, but they all split, so I had to file them very short.  I tried avoiding painting my nails for a few weeks to prevent applying harsh chemicals to my nails, but since my nails are very thin, nail polish actually helps fortify my nails against breaking, so I have started to wear polish again.  I've been trying to keep my hands moisturized, so I bought a small bottle of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, and I like it because my skin absorbs it quickly and it doesn't feel greasy on my hands.  I have also been applying Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme to my cuticles before I go to bed each night.  Either these two products have been help moisturize, or my skin has just gotten better on its own.

This post is a collection of "Nail of the Days" since last Christmas.  Yes, Christmas.  I'll show you my most recent manicures first.  Be sure to check out my Zoya post for a few more winter manicures.

For most of these manicures, I have used Orly Bonder as a basecoat and New York Color Grand Central Station for a topcoat with two coats of color in between.  And because my cuticles have looked horrendous, I have photo-altered them to appear less grotesque.  I have not altered the colors or my nails in these pictures.

Barielle Belly Dance
[Floral Accent] Zoya Zanna with New York Color Sidewalking as base on ring finger
[Floral Accent] Zoya Zanna with New York Color Sidewalking as base on ring finger
[Floral Accent] Zoya Zanna with New York Color Sidewalking as base on ring finger
Orly Quite Contrary Berry
Orly Quite Contrary Berry (matches my alma mater sweatshirt)
Orly Fantasea
Essie Size Matters (appears dark in low lighting)
Essie Size Matters (appears bright in sunlight)
Zoya Faye
Orly Nite Owl (looks green against my cool-tone skin)
[New Year's Eve] Manicure: Zoya Shivon, pedicure: China Glaze Ruby Pumps
[Christmas Manicure] China Glaze Glittering Garland and China Glaze Ruby Pumps
[Christmas Manicure] China Glaze Glittering Garland and China Glaze Ruby Pumps

Monday, March 5, 2012

[Review] Zoya Feel Collection

My favorite winter nail polishes are light blues, grays, dusty pinks, and dusty purples.  The Zoya Feel Collection embodies these colors.

Zoya Feel Collection
I own 5 out of the 6 polishes in the Feel Collection.  Pictured above are (left to right) Kristen, Carey, Megan, Kendal, and Kennedy.  (The pale pink at the end is Portia, not part of the new collection.)  I do not own the final color Avery, but I do have a Zoya spoon (aka swatch) for Avery, and I'm glad that I didn't buy it because it is a peach that makes my cool-tone skin look sickly yellow.

All of the polishes in the collection are dusty (grayed / desaturated) colors.  All of the polishes have a cream finish - no sparkles or glitter here.  All of the polishes have a thick consistency.  Kristen, Carey, and Megan go on smoothly and look great in two coats.  Megan could probably be a one-coater if you apply a thick coat.  However, Kennedy and especially Kendal are more goopy and apply somewhat streaky.  I didn't have any problems with these chipping; they were all long-lasting mani/pedicures.

For all the pictures below, I used Orly Bonder as my basecoat and New York Color "Grand Central Station" as my topcoat.

Manicure: Zoya Megan, pedicure: Zoya Kristen (tungsen lighting)
Zoya Megan is a blue-leaning dusty light purple.  The application is a dream, and it evens itself out nicely.  I could almost get away with one coat (see below).
Zoya Megan (1 coat, indoor lighting)
Zoya Kristen looks bright compared to the rest of the collection, but it is a dusty baby blue.  I absolutely love this color.  This polish is very thick, but I could still apply it easily.
Zoya Kristen (2 coats, sunlight)
Manicure: Zoya Carey, pedicure: Zoya Malia (tungsten lighting)
Zoya Carey is the darkest color of the collection.  It is a gray-blue.  Again, I had no problems with application.
Zoya Carey (2 coats, indoor lighting)
Zoya Kennedy is a weird color, the color of Silly Putty.  I do like the color, but I'm not sure I like it on my nails.  The polish itself is chalky, and you can see below that it looks somewhat goopy and uneven on my nails.
Zoya Kennedy (2 coats, sunlight)
I never took a picture of Zoya Kendal on my nails.  That's not surprising since I hated it.  Kendal has a terrible formulation.  It is very thick, goopy, and streaky.  It is a lovely color - a pink-leaning dusty light purple polish.  In the bottles, Kendal and Megan look alike, but they are distinctly different on my nails since one looks pink and one looks blue.

In conclusion, I love Carey, Kristen, and Megan, and I would highly recommend them, especially Carey and Kristen since they are more unusual polish colors.  I'd recommend Kennedy with some reservations because it is a very unique color.  I do NOT recommend Kendal though because of its terrible formulation.

Oh, one more positive aspect of the Feel Collection: the colors are all soft pastels and would also be great colors for spring.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

[Haul] Zoya

Previously, I only had a couple bottles of Zoya nail polish, purchased from a local beauty supply store, and I was impressed with them.  In December, I made my first purchase from  Now that I have more Zoya polishes, I think it is my new favorite nail polish brand.  I purchased 11 polishes, including 5 out of the 6 new colors from the winter Feel Collection.

Zoya nail polish haul
The polishes in the top row are (left to right)  Kristen, Carey, Megan, Kendal, Kennedy, and Porta.  The polishes on the bottom row are Nikki, Malia, Rea, Faye, and Moxie.  I've tried them all and love them all except for Kendal, which has a thick consistency and is not easy to apply, and Kennedy, which just looks like an odd color against my skintone.  You'll be able to see me wearing most of these polishes in upcoming posts.

Zoya Kristen | Zoya Carey | Zoya Megan | Zoya Kendall
Zoya Megan | Zoya Kendall | Zoya Kennedy | Zoya Portia
Zoya Nikki | Zoya Malia | Zoya Rea
Zoya Rea | Zoya Faye | Zoya Moxie
I love whites, baby blues, pastel pinks, and purples in the winter.  I noticed my latest nail polishes match the colors of my winter sweaters.

My winter sweaters in my favorite winter colors
With my purchase of those 11 bottles of polish, I received two sets of "spoons," swatches of some of Zoya's recent collections.  I also received a free 7-ounce container of Qtica Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub and a free 2-ounce bottle of the Zoya nail polish remover.

[Freebies] Zoya Remove+ nail polish remover and Qtica Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub
The Zoya Remove+ nail polish remover contains no acetone, works better at removing my nail polish  than my acetone-based remover, and it smells like lavender.  I love it, and I have already purchased a larger size.

The Qtica Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub is the most amazing hand/foot/body scrub I have ever used.  I use a teeny tiny drop of the scrub on my hands and feet, and it makes them feel super smooth and moisturized.  The scrub smells deliciously like ruby red grapefruit and sugar.  It actually looks and smells like the filling from jelly candies that I used to eat as a child.  Every time I use it, I have to resist the urge to eat it.  I looked up the price of this product on the Zoya/Art of Beauty website, and this full-size container sells for $18!  One, that's an excellent freebie to include with my purchase! Two, Zoya sure knew what they were doing enticing me with this freebie scrub because I love it so much that when I run out, I'll probably fork over the $18 for a new one.

To celebrate the beginning of 2012, Zoya had offered two free nail polishes to everyone.  I only had to pay $7 for shipping for two bottles that would normally cost $16 (no including shipping costs).  I bought Zanna and Bela.

Zoya Zanna and Zoya Bela
I originally hadn't purchased Zanna because I thought it would be too similar to another Zoya polish I already owned, Mia.  I swatched them, and Zanna is darker and more blue than Mia.

Swatches of OPI Japanese Rose Garden (pointer), Zoya Zanna (middle finger), and Zoya Mia (ring finger)
On Valentine's Day, offered free shipping on all orders plus one free red nail polish.  I purchased a large container of the Zoya Remover+ (backordered), the Zoya Anchor basecoat, and the red polish Tosca.  Tosca is a bright pink red with orange shimmers, a summer color.  It appears more pink in person than in the picture below.

Zoya Tosca and Zoya Anchor basecoat
And that's everything I've bought from Zoya in the last three months!