Tuesday, February 25, 2014

China Glaze Rendezvous With You swatch / China Glaze Coconut Kiss and NYC Prince Street comparison


China Glaze Rendezvous With You
Here's a really nail polish-y description: a dark smoky plum foil with mauve shimmer. Hah! Two coats. Definitely a fall shade. I wasn't terribly excited wearing it. I do think it'd make a nice pedicure.

Thumb to pinkie: PS, CK, PS, CK, PS
China Glaze Coconut Kiss and New York Color Prince Street
 I picked up Prince Street yesterday because I thought it might be a warmer version of Coconut Kiss, which I originally got because it was said to be very, very similar to Nubar Pasadena Purple. Back when I was first getting truly obsessed with nail polish (I had always had a huge collection compared to others, but this was something else), I would look at old ALU posts like this one and dream. I almost got Pasadena Purple more than once, but Nubar's shipping cost is so expensive, it warded me away each and every time. Anyway, China Glaze Coconut Kiss didn't quite do it for me the other two times I wore it. It was sheer and it wasn't warm enough. Would Prince Street fill that hole in my heart?

I took Prince Street home, and would you know it, they looked identical. Put them on, and CK is in fact a little WARMER. But it's also sheerer. PS only requires 2 coats, while a lot of the nails wearing CK could've used a third. A third coat of CK would have made the two virtually identical. I don't know if it shows up in the photo at all, but the color difference was noticeable if you looked for it at 2 coats, and difficult, but possible, to notice at 3.

2 coats PS vs 3 coats CK; doesn't show the difference at all, but this shows that I tried! ha ha
New York Color (most un-google-able brand name ever) Prince Street takes fewer coats and is much cheaper, so I would recommend it as the option to pick based on that. They have the exact same thin, watery formula, so no advantage there. Also, I didn't care for Coconut Kiss almost two years ago, but wearing these two nearly identical colors now, I love it! It's an electric purple shimmer, the perfect cross of blue and pink. It's vibrant. I was going to sell the "loser" of this swatch-off originally, but I don't know, man. I might keep both and just wear it more frequently.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine swatches -- Zoya Bobbi and OPI In My Santa Suit

In sunlight

Indoor lighting
Zoya Bobbi
A hot pink foil, an easy 2 coats. You  know what, foils have to be one of my favorite textures. You get stunning results with minimal effort. This one was harder to remove than I expected.

Overcast light

More color-accurate., though lighter like the first photo
OPI In My Santa Suit
Possibly my favorite color purchased last year! A glowing ruby red, very rich. It's of the variety that glows in the center and is dark along the edges. Opaque in 1 coat, but use 2 for color. Similar in hue to Zoya Karina, but with a much, much finer shimmer finish. Darker than Zoya Elisa, which has a similar finish.

Looks like I won't be getting tip wear from my job anymore! My boss's valentine to me was to leave me employed only in name. How precious!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Orly Smolder swatch

After 3 days, taken inside of a moving car.

After 4 days, in the sun, now scratched up.
Orly Smolder
Dark red shimmer, leans blue and a little bit wine. Much brighter and less warm mahogany than the standard blackened red shimmers, and darker than, say, Zoya Isla. A very easy 2 coats.

In other nail news, I'm going nuts waiting for the Zoya Awaken collection to finally mail out to the bloggers. How dare Zoya put me through this pain?! I also ordered a buttload of China Glazes from Head2ToeBeauty, including more of the City Flourishes, and only found out days later that they had a coupon code right on their main page that I completely skipped over. I could've saved... a little over an entire dollar! That's the big bucks, people. Also, the prices on Head2ToeBeauty are so cheap, but when you factor in the cost of shipping, even when you order a ton of them at once, it ends up evening out to about the average retail price. Maybe slightly less. Ah well.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Zoya Sarah swatch

In sunlight

In shade
Is there really a difference in color between these two pics? I have no idea.

Zoya Sarah
 A rich red shimmer, slightly more garnet than the ruby of Zoya Karina. Opaque in a single coat, use two to get the true depth of the color. Perfect formula. The touch of pink makes it more Valentine's Day than Christmas-y. Besides being cooler, the shimmer is much larger than in the almost metallic Zoya Elisa.

In the past when I used it, it had been "pinker" than I wanted, and this time I wanted the pink edge, but it almost always looked pure red! Oh, how I suffer. I think what I truly wanted was something like OPI The One That Got Away.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

China Glaze At Vase Value swatch and comparisons, from the City Flourish collection

China Glaze At Vase Value
 A baby blue/aqua creme, very, very bright.  After three coats it's completely fine.  It's thicker and dries quickly, which can cause difficulty, but eh.  Not too big of a deal.  I added China Glaze's silver crackle to winter-fy it.  The sloppiness is all my doing.

Some comparisons:
For Audrey, At Vase Value, and Too Yacht to Handle. AVV is way, way lighter. FA  looks almost dull in comparison (the sunlight is making it more vibrant). TYTH is like a much deeper version of the same shade.

Versus China Glaze Refresh-Mint, which is greyer and more green.

Essie Mint Candy Apple, which you can see is greener.  It's kind of the same level of brightness and lightness, the mint to At Vase Value's aqua.

It's definitely a SPRING color, a little too vivid than I can handle at the moment. It'd make an awesome pedicure. Maybe add some Fairy Dust, and you're set to go.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Zoya Elisa swatch

Zoya Elisa
Hmmm this kind of looks like crap. I may be the worst swatcher in the world. Anywho! Elisa is a glowy red shimmer, very much a true red. Two coats. The bottle color in the photo looks more accurate. I thought OPI In My Santa Suit would be a dupe, but it's deeper with a touch more blue (and absolutely gorgeous).

Such beautiful weather! A little too beautiful. As soon as I snapped this shot in my front year, a honeybee was suddenly hovering to the side of my right hand. Scared the mess out of me. It was either attracted to the sweet aroma of my hand lotion or the bright blue of the camera. There are no flowers out right now, so good luck, little bee. The bats are also out, as are the indoor stinkbugs. I wish I could bring a bat into the house on a leash and just let it sniff/echolocate out the stinkbugs.

This was also the very first Super Bowl where I sat down with some basic understanding of how the game works. That is until that safety (whatever the hell that is) happened within the first few minutes. It took me hours to recover from that confusion.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Glancing at China Glaze City Flourish

I just went to Ulta and the new China Glaze spring pastels have arrived, and they are glorious ಠ___ಠ  I was so overwhelmed, I stared at them for a long time before deciding to come back later with the $3.50 coupon. Then while waiting to check-out, I ran back to the display to get the nude, and even then took a moment to think about it, and decided to grab the blue (At Vase Value) and apply the 20% off coupon to that, and come back later, pick up the "medium" purple (it's actually a very light bright, but not the lightest) and the nude and apply the $3.50. So classy!

I have not swatched it yet, but what I can tell you is that At Vase Value is a lighter, brighter version of For Audrey, and much lighter than Too Yacht to Handle. All of the new colors looked borderline neon under the bright Ulta lights besides the nude, which looked like, you know, a perfect nude (it's also the only one with shimmer). Of Life and Lacquer reports that they have the same terrible formula as last year's summer brights, which others had trouble with as well, but I was perfectly fine with the ones I had (Too Yacht and Shore Bright), so I'm not too worried.

EDIT: My sister put At Vase Value on one nail. It looks great!

The closest colors I have are actually Hard Candy Sky (bluer, maybe chalkier), China Glaze Refresh-Mint  (more green, more grey), and Essie Mint Candy Apple (darker, a touch more green). So it's a baby blue with enough green that it almost leans mint.

Vamp and Metallics

My poor fingers :(
 China Glaze Naughty and Nice and Wet n Wild Fergie Going Platinum
Naughty and Nice, a deep, blackened red-violet, was my go-to vampy until it was replaced by China Glaze Velvet Bow the next Christmas, and then that was replaced by OPI Visions of Love a year or two after. Naughty and Nice only needed two coats on one nail, and I added a third on the other because I thought it was lighter (not sure if it really was).  Going Platinum is a silver-y foil. On my toes, I thought it was an awesome antique gold (I topped it with Essie Beyond Cozy), but wearing it as a manicure for the first time, it wasn't doing it for me at this moment. It is extremely pigmented and the brush practically covers with one stroke, but I used two coats.

Zoya Ibiza and Nicka K Mosaic Blue
Ibiza is a classic polish, a very dark blue with blue shimmer. Opaque in one coat. Mosaic Blue is an awesome-amazing chrome silver blue, also pretty much opaque in one coat. It leaves brush strokes, but who cares? My friend Ilana sent me this a few years ago, and she recommended it for toes. I agree!

All chips can be blamed on my work, not the polishes. I used different colors because I was completely indecisive, and I immediately loved the blue hand more. The "red" one (I guess others wouldn't call it red) felt a little two holiday-ish for me for the moment, like it was red and gold, though it doesn't exactly look it in the photo.

Happy Chinese New Year! It is 5 AM and I'm writing this post. Why? I was dead-tired at 7 PM.