emalitsa said: Your nails are absolutely stunning! such great swatches, so lovely! xx
Thank you for taking the time to say so! :)
Color: Queen B (China Glaze)
Retail Price: $7.00 (USD)
Am I the only one humming “Royals” by Lorde? This shade will certainly make you feel like a “Queen B.” Purple is the color of royalty, after all.
Queen B is from China Glaze’s fall 2013 Autumn Nights collection. It is a deep violet, almost blurple shade with a creme finish.
The formula for this shade is flawless; it’s a one-coater! Application is smooth (practically effortless, if you ask me), and the color applies evenly (no bald spots, which is what makes it a one-coater). The color looks pretty dark in the bottle, but in good lighting (or under the sun, which is where I took pictures of my swatch), the violet is bright and fun. This is absolutely a staple you need in your autumn wardrobe.
Looking for a dupe? Try Road House Blues (OPI) or No More Film (Essie).
Disclosure: Product sample provided by China Glaze.
Color: Glowstick (Orly)
Retail Price: $8.00 (USD)
This shade is from Orly’s summer 2012 Feel the Vibe collection. It is a highlighter yellow neon creme that’s so bright it’s nearly blinding (in the most awesome way ever)! Just like most other neon nail polishes, this dries matte, so make sure you finish your manicure with a glossy top coat.
As fun as this color is, the formula? Not so much. =/ Glowstick is extremely sheer, and the formula is strangely thick. That makes application quite tedious. The thick formula means each coat you apply takes longer than usual to dry, and the sheerness of Glowstick means you’re going to be applying quite a few coats of this nail polish if you decide not to use a white creme base for this manicure. In the photo above, I am wearing four coats of Glowstick!
In spite of the formula, I am just way too in love with Glowstick to really care about the crazy application process. I’ve never seen a yellow so bright it’s practically radioactive! I’m just so amazed!
This is definitely not work-safe, but if you want to make a statement with your manicure, this has got to be one of your go-to nail polishes.
Color: Marrow (Butter London)
Retail Price: $14.00 (USD)
This shade is from Butter London’s fall 2010 collection. It is a bruised purple creme with silver shimmer throughout. I think it looks stunning in the bottle and on my nails, although it should be noted that Marrow dries much darker on nails than it appears in the bottle (which is fine with me, in this case). Another slight issue is that the shimmer is verrry subtly visible on the nail (while it’s very apparent in the bottle), but despite that fact, Marrow manages to twinkle quite nicely when the sun hits it just right.
The formula for this shade is great to work with, which makes application easy. Marrow is very pigmented, and is almost a one-coater; however, I needed two coats to achieve full opacity.
Overall, I really like this color because I don’t own anything else like it. Still, it’s important for you to know that it looks slightly darker on nails than it does in the bottle, which may potentially be a problem for some people. The best thing about Marrow is that even though it’s from a fall collection, the shimmer makes it perfect for spring and summer as well!
(Click photos to enlarge them.)
Collection: Lovely (Zoya)
Retail Price: $8.00 (USD) per bottle
This is the spring 2013 Lovely collection from Zoya. It contains three fresh blooms of cream and three dewy metallics. These colors are perfect for the spring season (and Easter weekend!), and add a great pop of color to any look. Read on for my thoughts on this collection!
Jacqueline: This shade is a light beige creme with warm yellow undertones. It’s a great nude for skin tones with similar warm undertones, and a work-safe shade for all. Application is smooth and easy, and is opaque in only two coats.
Neely: This shade is a muted and dusty light green. Zoya claims it is a perfect “vintage” shade, and I have to agree! I always love green nail polish, so this was no exception. Great formula, and opaque in only two coats. No complaints here! Looking for a dupe? Check out Bossy Boots (Butter London), which is slightly brighter.
Blu: This shade is a soft baby blue creme. I’m not sure if I go a wonky bottle or if it’s because I took my photos under the sun, but my photo makes this shade look a bit brighter than other swatches I’ve seen. At first glance, it reminded me of Kristen (Zoya), but it’s not nearly dusty or dark enough! The closest dupe I own is Borrowed & Blue (Essie), though Blu is not quite as bright. The formula for Blu was a teensy bit on the thick side, and was opaque in two coats.
Julie: This shade is a dewy lilac shimmer. I was going to describe it as dusty at first, but when it reminded me of No More Waity, Katie (Butter London), I compared the bottles, and Julie is so much brighter! It seemed like a lie to call Julie dusty. In any case, I liked this purple so much more than I thought I would; I think it’s a nail color that would look flattering on many skin tones. Additionally, the formulas for the shimmers in this collection are so easy to work with. Application is forgiving, and I achieved full opacity in only two coats.
GeiGei: This shade is a cheerful cherry blossom pink shimmer. It’s a good fit within this collection, but I think you could find a dupe for it just about anywhere! Still, this is a great pink for spring, and an easy color to match with several looks. Once again, the formula for this shade is easy to work with, and GeiGei is opaque in two coats.
Piaf: According to Zoya, this shade is a “forsythia yellow metallic.” Forsythia flowers are gorgeous, but I don’t think this shade is bright enough to do the flower justice! And it has slight metallic tendencies, but I’d call this a shimmer before a metallic any day! Still, I really love Piaf. This soft, dusty yellow makes me think of powdered gold dust. It’s got this dreamy quality to it that’s perfect for work or play, and doesn’t quite match anything else in my stash. Once again, I only needed two coats for full opacity. Definitely a keeper!
Out of the cremes, I especially like Jacqueline, but I think that’s because I find it looks great with my skin tone. And out of the shimmers, Julie and Piaf are the winners because I was surprised by how much I ended up liking them on my nails!
Overall, I really love this collection as a whole. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of pastels, but I like these colors because they are not too washed out and because the dewy/dusty quality lends the collection a sense of uniqueness missing from other similar nail color collections.
Disclosure: Product samples provided by Zoya.
Color: Desert Sun (China Glaze)
Retail Price: $7.00 (USD)
This shade is from China Glaze’s fall 2012 On Safari collection. It is an orange-brown caramel color with a creme finish.
The formula for this shade made it easy to apply, and I needed two coats to achieve bottle color. Speaking of bottle color, Desert Sun dries darker and brighter than it appears in the bottle, though I suppose the “brighter” bit is sort of fitting since this shade is named after the sun!
If you’re looking for something saucy but still work-safe, this might be the color for you!
Disclosure: Product sample provided by China Glaze.
Color: Mermaid’s Dream (Deborah Lippmann)
Retail Price: $18.00 (USD)
I’ve been wanting Mermaid’s Dream for a while and finally got my hands on it, thanks to a nail polish swap with Vanessa, who follows Blanket Print Nails on Facebook. Now, in my experience, when you want something really bad for a long time, it sometimes doesn’t live up to your expectations. I’m happy to report that isn’t true in this case!
Mermaid’s Dream is a glittered shimmer with micro gold and seafoam green glitter and large blue hexagonal glitter throughout. I’d say this qualifies as a glittered shimmer because application is so smooth and effortless, unlike many other glitter polishes where the glitter is prone to move around on your nail during application. One coat of this nail polish is pretty dense, but still great to layer over a solid creme (like Deborah Lippmann’s On The Beach, a bright sky blue creme)—perhaps to create a dazzling accent nail. For a fully opaque manicure, I needed two coats of Mermaid’s Dream (as you can see in the photo above). This does dry a little bumpy/rough, so you’ll want to use one or two layers of a thick top coat to finish up your manicure.
Mermaid’s Dream is so stunning it makes my heart ache!! Any nail polish aficionado seriously NEEDS this bottle of perfection. A+, Deborah Lippmann!
Color: Please Me (M∙A∙C)
Retail Price: $16.00 (USD)
This shade is from the M∙A∙C Casual Color collection. It is a mid-tone warm pink with a creme finish. The formula for this shade was easy to work with (a pleasant surprise after my experience with the M∙A∙C Beth Ditto pastels), and Please Me was opaque in an easy two coats.
Overall, I really like this shade. It has a really sweet, romantic feel, and it’s work-safe, too! Moreover, I think this shade (and any shade in this collection) is perfect if you’re wanting to try out the matching lip and nail color trend.
Disclosure: Product sample provided by M·A·C.
Anonymous said: Hi! I love your blog and I was wondering, do you file your nails so that they are flat instead of rounded at the tips?
Thanks! And yes, I file my nails like that on purpose for two reasons. First, it’s really easy to just file your nails into a straight line, lol. (I’m not sure I have the patience to file my nails in a rounded shape!) And second, I’ve been trying to keep my nails a little shorter, and I think square nails look great short. Of course…sometimes I get busy with life and my nails turn into claws before I have a chance to file them back down again!
Anonymous said: How do you paint your nails so perfect?? I am amazed! Please tell me, I can never quite get my cuticle area as clean and perfect as i would like.
Honestly, it’s a “practice makes perfect” thing! Someone else did ask me this before, though, so I have a slightly more detailed answer here. :)