Friday, March 31, 2017

High Tide

This is my very first ILNP polish, and my mind was slightly boggled by the packaging - for one polish, mind you:


This is from ILNP's new spring line.
It's lovely - I may be wearing this more or less immediately. (You may notice that it's almost the same color as Marine, just below it on the wheel - but it's obviously a lot more glittery.)

(I bought this basically because I watched Jess's video on this line - and here's that, so you don't have to go looking.)

Nail Junkie

This is Nail Junkie, which was in my Sinful Colors favorites:
The polish is deceptive because it looks in the bottle like it will be much more opaque than it actually is. It's a jelly base with what looks like small bits of blue and blue-green and holo glitter, but as you can see it goes on the nail very pale. I usually put a base of some sort under it.

This bottle is kind of on its last legs, and so that is only one (very thick) coat on the wheel - my numbers are pretty hard to read but it's #17. I kind of went crazy when I realized what bad shape my bottle is in and that this is discontinued; I think I believed that it was still current. So I found a box of three for $10 on Amazon and ordered it. (Which is actually not an unreasonable price, at all. I guess it's not rare enough to be able to charge premium prices for, so instead they sell them in threes? Kind of odd, but oh well. They've arrived and they appear to be perfectly legit, as far as I can tell.) (Added: I compared the old bottle with the new ones and they matched up exactly. And I compared swatches as well.) You can't really tell in this picture how much of a mess this bottle is, but now that I have replacement(s), it's going not in the discard box but in the trash.

(I talked about Nail Junkie previously here.)

Much later addition: pictures of the new Nail Junkie bottles:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chop Chop Copper

This is Insta-Dri Chop Chop Copper, which was in my Sally Hansen favorites:
This was an LE polish so it's probably not widely available, but I really like it a lot. As you can see it's a pale metallic copper. I mostly don't wear it on its own (which takes 3 coats) - instead I wear it as a layering polish. On top of something like that brown below it on the wheel, it's stunning.

TBT: Aurora Borealis over Frogtown

Still not pastel, but a nice shimmery manicure that does manage to look spring-like:
This is Aurora Borealis (from Lucky 13) over Frogtown (Pretty Serious). As I said when I posted it originally, this is a dark picture but I used it because the shimmer shows up so well. AB was LE (initial salad, sorry) so I don't think you can get it, but Frogtown appears to be available, still, as of when I wrote this. (Frogtown is weird because it looks blue-green in bottle pictures, but my experience is that in person on the nail it looks totally green.) I would think you can duplicate this mani fairly closely with any number of combinations of green polish + flakie topper, really. Except maybe for that lilac flash - that part may be a little harder to get.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Favorite Sally Hansens

I have 40 Sally Hansen polishes altogether, and I had a nail wheel with 15 swatches left, and so I filled that up with Sally Hansen swatches that I thought were candidates for favorites. I didn't swatch the two that I have that are very hard to find (see the second picture for those) - I've swatched those enough and I don't want to waste the remaining polish in those bottles. I eventually came up with a list of five, plus the two I didn't swatch, plus two honorable mentions - so it's basically a Top Nine. I know, it doesn't have the same ring to it, but whatever.

Here's the Top Five I settled on - in which Insta-Dri predominates:

(I'll link what I can find links for, and probably do new posts for most of the others. I don't think Disco Ball or CCCopper have been swatched at all in my neverending swatch project, so I'll try to get those, especially, up soon. Added: Chop Chop Chopper is up, and Disco Ball is scheduled for Monday night.)

I'm not sure if any of these are current polishes, and in fact I'm pretty sure at least three of them are not. Quick Jeanius and Chop Chop Copper were from one of those LE seasonal sets - I think it was the same season, back a few years ago - and I think that the Diamond Strength line is now discontinued. However you may be able to find some or all of these on Amazon etc.

Here's the other four:
The two "honorable mention" polishes were my other Diamond Strength polish, Private I, and Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink. (Actually I decided looking at them that Rockstar Pink may just be the same glitter as Disco Ball but with a pink base.) And then the last two are the HTF ones that I declined to reswatch but I already knew I loved, Pumpkin Spice and the old version of Pacific Blue. So I guess if you look at the nine altogether, Xtreme Wear wins as favorite (sub-)brand because I have four favorites there, and Insta-Dri comes in second with three. (I have also talked about Insta-Dri recently as a polish brand that is undeservedly ignored. They have nice colors and many of those are one-coaters and they really do dry really fast, so they're great for when you need to slap something on your nails and go.)

I have 40 Sally Hansen polishes altogether, from a whopping 12 different polish lines, if I'm counting correctly. Some I only had one or two of, some I had many. In fact, I have it in front of me so I'll give you the list:

  • Complete Salon Manicure - 3
  • Diamond Strength - 2
  • Gem Crush - 1
  • Hard As Nails - 2
  • Insta-Dri - 8
  • LustreShine - 1
  • Miracle Gel - 2 (not counting the top-coat that goes with it)
  • Nailgrowth Miracle - 1
  • Salon Formula - 2
  • Satin Glam - 1
  • Triple Shine - 4
  • Xtreme Wear (which is technically a sub-line of Hard As Nails, I think) - 13

Sally Hansen really got carried away with the different lines for a while there. I notice they've tightened it up some recently.

For the record, here's the whole 40:
1st row (across the top): Grape Going, Cherry Fast, Unbreakable Heart, Steely Gaze (which lost its label somewhere along the line)
2nd row: Expresso, Ivy League, Emerald City, Blue It, Glitz Gal, Punk-ish Purple, Mad Women, Black and Blue, Gray By Gray, Forbidden Fudge, Azure, Taffeta
3rd row: Royal Invite, Celeb City, Wet Cement, Purple Potion, Gray Area, Indi-glow, Jet Set Jade, Plummet, Mermaid's Tale, Pearly Whites, Vanity Flare, Mist You
4th row: Private I, Posh Plum, Rockstar Pink, Pumpkin Spice, Pacific Blue, Disco Ball, Quick Jeanius, Chop Chop Copper, Cocoa a Go Go, Wavy Blue, Slick Black, Plum It

(This is the same surface I take most all my pictures on lately - it's the back side of a serving tray - and I just barely squeezed all 40 polishes on. A few are really hanging off the edges!)

I'm having trouble making myself do discards in large numbers, but I decided that this bunch, at least, can go, out of the 40. I may add a few more later.
(L-R: Mist You, Azure, Celeb City, Unbreakable Heart, Steely Gaze, Gray By Gray)

Thinking about Sally Hansen's pricing: I grew up wearing mostly Revlon polish, which always cost a little more although it was also a drugstore brand, and I think I believed for a long time that a polish that was only a dollar or two couldn't possibly be any good. So Xtreme Wear in particular was my gateway in recent years into the cheaper polishes (followed later on by Sinful Colors and Wet n Wild, etc.). On the other hand, SH seems to be concentrating their newer products on the high end of drugstore pricing - specifically Miracle Gel and the newer Color Therapy (which I haven't tried yet). I do like Miracle Gel but it's expensive enough that I'm very choosy about which ones I buy, just like I am about other polishes in that higher price range.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Love You

This is Sinful Colors I Love You, which was in my SC top 5:
It's glitter in a purple jelly base. I shook this up and so you can't really see where the line is on this bottle, but it's about half empty. Like many jellies, it takes a bunch of coats to get to the bottle color, and I think that's why it so low, because I've used 3-4 coats every time I wear it. The wheel swatch (which is #3 on the wheel) is three coats. I went out looking for a backup bottle of this at least a couple of years ago, and it was already discontinued then. Which is a shame, because I do love this polish. (I poked around and found it on eBay for about $15 and Amazon for $8 including shipping - I'm not sure I need it quite that bad.)

"I Love You" is a bit of a strange name for a polish - it always makes me think of Barney even though it's not actually the right shade of purple for the big dinosaur. There are some other old colors of Sinful Colors that have similar names, though, so I think it was something more like an emoji thing, or something like that, instead of a Barney thing. - Aha, Scrangie has pictures of the whole collection (from 2009), and I have three of them. There's no themed collection name but several of the names are in that vein - I Love You, I Miss You, Call Me Later. All About You and Nail Junkie, both of which I have, are also from this collection.

Added: old post about this polish and a newer one.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Here's another of my top 10 Zoyas, Remy:
Zoya describes it as "a brilliant indigo with a strong flash of green and gold liquid metallic glitter." They also call it a warm tone, which I can only think is because of the gold. I don't really see this as a warm color, myself. But anyway, it's beautiful, so we can quibble about warm and cool a bit but I still love it either way.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Let Me Go

This is Sinful Colors Let Me Go - which was or wasn't, depending on what day you asked me, in my five favorite Sinful Colors polishes:
Looking from the bottle to the wheel, you might this think this was #11 on the wheel, but it's not, it's #12. This is a very hard-to-pin-down polish.

I didn't put Let Me Go in my official SC top 5, but honestly, I think I meant to and I just got confused at the last minute when I was taking the pictures. As I mentioned previously, it's still a current color, although it looks completely different in their picture. "A purple and blue shimmer" is what they call it, and I guess maybe that's actually what it is, but like I said, it's hard to pin down. I think it's an extremely heavy shimmer, I can see a pale pink or lilac color, and the silvery shimmer which might actually be blue (remember Pearl Jammin' last fall? I made the same mistake with that) - but what it comes out looking most like is mother-of-pearl - meaning very heavy shimmer and various colors of (very pale) duochrome(ish) flash. It takes several coats to get to that point, though - I seem to recall using at least three or four. You can see the beginning of that MOP effect on the wheel, but it takes more than two coats to get opaque, for sure.

(If you're still wondering what #11 is, by any chance, follow that top 5 link and there's a picture of it at the very bottom of the entry. It's Casablanca.)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mani fail: Purple Diamond

So this is Sinful Color Purple Diamond:
This is not one of my "favorites" that I've been showing lately; I just swatched this with the rest of my SC stash, I've had this for a couple of years, probably, and I've worn it some as a layering polish. I looked at this nail wheel swatch and thought, "Hmm, maybe this will get opaque" - it looks there like it might, and it looks quite pretty. But I've now tried it and no, it doesn't get opaque. Not even close. It looked pretty awful, really - not nearly as good as it looks in this swatch, not at all.

So then instead of giving up once I was wearing a couple of coats of this, I grabbed a random sparkly top-coat and tried a couple of coats of that, and that didn't help either. (I'm not even going to say which top-coat it was, because it was what was underneath that was the problem here. It's not the random sparkly top-coat's fault.) And in the end, I had so much gunk there that it all just refused to set. I'm not sure that's really Purple Diamond's fault, per se, but just the same I can't really see wanting to try it again and it's now residing in the destash box. It's a very retro color, Purple Diamond is, and not in a good way. (I have no pictures of the failed version, sorry. I guess I should be more committed to recording stuff like this, but it's hard to work up the heart. Plus I didn't realize quite how bad it was, until I realized an hour or more after allegedly finishing the manicure that it was still not set. Would it have set eventually? I didn't have the patience to find out.)

Here's my original post last year on PD and another similar pinky-purple shinner. It's not bad as an overcoat, honestly. I've just had it so long and I have so many other similar(ish) things that I know I'm not likely to wear it, especially now that I'm all frustrated with it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bubblegum Punk

One of the few polishes I've got left that I've never done a swatch picture for, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk (on the wheel here, over black):
This was a collaboration with Refinery 29. It just looks like white iridescence, mostly, although you can see that over black it looks somewhat blue. You can build it to something close to opaqueness on its own, or you can layer it, and historically I have loved this as a layering polish. As KellieGonzo says at the link up there, this has sort of a cellophane quality to it. It's quite extraordinary.

That collab, R29+RBL, produced two of my favorite polishes ever - the other one is Pretty Gritty. Unfortunately, RBL is now out of business so unless you want to shell out serious money on eBay you're not likely to find this one.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

NOTD: Marine

Here's Formula X Marine on my nails:
The tip-wear is noticeable but I'd already had this one on for a couple of days by the time I took this. It held up pretty decently, on the whole. And it basically looked just like it does in the bottle. I like it a lot, although I don't think this picture shows it to best advantage. I didn't use a super-shiny top-coat on it, obviously - I think I just used my old (really old) bottle of Colorstay top-coat.

(Also, I took it off last night and it didn't have a serious staining problem. I always worry about that with this kind of color. In a couple of spots where my tips were ragged it did want to stick in that a bit, but that was all.)

TBT: She's Beyond Kelp!

I was poking around looking for green manicures to use for Throwback Thursday, and this is an awesome (green-ish) one, although I was supposed to be looking for St.Pat's Day greens and spring pastels and this is neither:
This is KBShimmer She's Beyond Kelp! which is a duochrome flakie. Here's where I talked about it originally. I'm pretty sure it's discontinued, though.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sinful Colors stash & top 5

I only have 19 Sinful Colors polishes in all (and one of them's just white nail art polish) so doing a top 10 would be sort of silly. I did pick out five that I especially like, though, and I'll show those below. But first, the whole crowd:
This is all 19. Getting round bottles to lay flat is always a problem, of course, but I managed it below by using a plastic box lid to corral them. (I also used the one flat-sided one, the nail art polish, as a stopper.)
So Bad Chick is the white nail art polish on the far left, which I believe is also the only creme polish in this whole bunch. (Some of them almost look like cremes, but I believe they all have at least some shimmer in them.) Across the top row, this is All About You, Gilded, Show Stopping, Sugar Sugar, Fig, Purple Diamond, I Love You, Winterberry, and Rich In Heart. The bottom row is Love Sprinkles, Casablanca, Let Me Go, Ice Dream, Charge It Up (which is a magnetic polish), Kobalt (which is the one with the blue top, the Kylie polish), Super Star, Nail Junkie, and Kissy.

Since there were 18 excluding the white one, and that's exactly how many spaces are on the nail wheels I have right now, I also did a nail wheel. (I know, I almost always do nail wheels for everything, but I'm not going to reswatch every polish from every brand, that's for sure. I only swatched 18 of 75 for Zoya, remember.) I'll put that below, but first let's get to what I decided was the top five:
I ended up with Kissy, Gilded, Winterberry, Nail Junkie, and I Love You as my top 5. (There were two more that got kicked out at the last minute, and I'll go ahead and tell you what those were: Let Me Go and Kobalt.) Unlike the top 10 Zoyas, which were all current polishes, none of these are current. I was actually surprised by that; I thought at least a couple of them were. (Let Me Go shows up on SC's website, but I'm not sure if it's still the same formula or not - it sure doesn't look the same in their picture.)

This is already long so I'm putting the wheel under the cut, so you can see it if you're interested and skip it if not!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Here's London, from my list of top 10 Zoyas:
This seems to be only one coat, if I'm interpreting my scribbling there correctly. If you look at this picture, it looks darker and more like the bottle. It's fairly opaque after one coat, I thought, but if you want it to be closer to the bottle color, you may want two coats. All Lacquered Up calls it the color of a pencil lead, which I guess is pretty close. As with all the Zoya Pixie Dusts, it looks awesome without top coat and usually awesome in a different way with it. I don't know that I remember trying tried London this way (though I know I have with others) - but here are PolishAholic's pictures, which include shots with top coat. Generally top coat added to the Pixie Dusts picks up hidden shimmer and looks awesome, though.

I did show a picture of London back in November - that's the link at the top - but I didn't say anything too much about it and I'm not happy with that picture, either. (Generally, I seem to end up much more satisfied with the posts where I go one polish at a time, I've noticed.)

(Incidentally, just because this is #1 on the wheel doesn't mean it's my #1 favorite Zoya. I just had them in sort of color order on the wheel. I didn't force myself to decide on a single favorite.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Formula X, one more time

I thought I was buying my last Formula X polish a month or so when I bought Ignite - but then I looked later and they had some more polishes on the website, and well, I just can't resist a $5 polish (especially if it's marked down from $12.50 or whatever it was) so:
The ones that interested me the most were both blue-greens but they were not the same shade and not the same finish, so I just bought them both. This is Prism and Marine (as you can see below):

Prism is super-shimmery. This blogger calls it a neon but I don't see it as quite that bright. It's a pretty color, though.

Marine, I really like more. It reminds me of Zoya Liberty although it's by no means a dupe. Liberty is more of a bright blue I think - I'm going to have to check. But Marine has some texture to it and the color seems pretty similar.
I figure these are likely to actually be my last Formula X polishes, this time. That's not to say they won't show up at some discount store somewhere eventually, but I've mostly broken my Big Lots habit lately so I doubt that I will know it if they do.

(Added, months later: it is now June, and to my surprise, Sephora put another big set of Formula X's on the website a couple of weeks ago - for I think $2? but I didn't see that they were there early enough and by the time I looked everything that interested me was gone. So I do not have to take back what I said before, these are still my last Formula X's, at least so far!)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

All my Zoyas

I mentioned when I talked about favorite Zoyas that I'd taken pictures of my whole Zoya stash, and here it is. It took two pictures. The first two rows below are the top 20, then everything else is more or less sorted by color.
(above) row 1: Dovima, London, Luna, Daul, Lotus, Alice, Aster, Carly, Carter, Harlow
row 2: Jem, Cinnamon, Reva, Dream, Remy, Rikki, Irene, Zuza, Chloe, Leia
row 3: Harmonie, Odette, Lillith, Reagan, Juicy, Paloma, India, Posh, Delilah, Chyna
row 4: Perrie, Azalea, Shelby, Rory, Alegra, Kierra, Dita, Kimber, Ali, Maya
top row: Isa, Savita, Suri, Roxy, Thea, Aurora, Haven, Mira, Neeka, Kieko, Anais (mini)
middle row: Cynthia, Indigo, Liberty, Robyn, Yuna, Feifei, Maisie, Ivanka, Frida, Katherine, Charlotte (mini)
last full row: Riley, Karina, Sooki, Teigen, Sansa, Merida, Olivera, Veruschka, Chita, Kaufda, Autumn
mini at bottom: Severine

The first picture is 40 polishes; the second picture has 31 regular polishes and three minis. So counting the minis that's 74 polishes, if I'm not missing something. And I said before that I had 72 or 73, but I think I was counting wrong - probably I was leaving out the minis, which there are only 3 of. The spreadsheet says 72 + the minis (because they are on a different sheet), so that's 75. And I know of one polish that isn't in the pictures because it's MIA (that's Lara) so that adds up right, in fact.

I haven't tried to do counts on other brands yet, but I have nowhere near this number of any other brand. I'm sure of that. Zoya has a combination of good quality, great colors & formulas, and good prices (mostly because of their regular promo sales on the website) that have made them completely my favorite brand.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Unpopular opinions

This is was all over the place a month or two ago, so it's kind of old news by now, but what the heck. This was a "tag" on YouTube, and while I don't have my own YouTube channel, I do watch YouTube quite a lot - I watch various nail polish people, and I watch a little bit of beauty stuff, and I watch a lot of movie-related stuff. (My current movie opinions? Totally go see "Get Out" if you haven't already, and also go see "Logan" if it's at all your kind of thing - although it's quite violent so don't bother if you don't have a lot of tolerance for that. I don't think either one of those would really count as an unpopular opinion, though.)

I do have lots of opinions about most things so it's hard for me to resist a list of questions to answer - and this is no exception.

I watched Nailpolish BabyyNinety's answers to this first, but I tried not to be influenced too much by her answers. Then I decided not to watch any more til after I'm done writing this.

Bear in mind, you don't have to agree with me about any of this. This is just what I think. (Note that since writing this, I've watched more of those videos, and at least some of these opinions don't appear to be unpopular at all - several other people came up with the same answer to #1, for example.)

1. A popular polish you don't like - well, really there are lots of these, since I don't like pastels, don't much like nudes etc. (Although that's more because I don't think they are flattering on me, rather than that I hate that color per se.) Actually I'm going to jump completely the other way from pastels and nudes and say Lincoln Park After Dark. Everybody loves it and there's certainly nothing actually wrong with it but I just don't want to wear it. If I want something that dark, I'll just wear black. If I want a purple, I'll wear something that looks more purple. LPAD just glories in being both and neither, as far as I can tell.
2. A polish everyone hates but you like - I googled "nail polish everybody hates" and found a lot of pictures of Julep - but I've never even tried Julep so that's useless, for this purpose. Also it's really hard to get women, especially, to say on the internet what they hate (unless it's something like customer service issues, which I gather is a large part of the problem with Julep) because people don't want to get called "negative". So I'm not sure what people actually hate, in large numbers - other than Julep. But I like weird greens that a lot of people don't, so let's go with that. Butter London Wallis, for example, and those zombie greens that always come out at Halloween. I love that stuff, and not just at Halloween.
3. A nail polish finish you don't like - scattered holos (note that by this I don't mean the same ones that I talk about in question 8 below, because those are the glittery kind. I mean the less flashy ones like - just grabbing at some randomly - Briarwood and Lizard Belly. They're just too subtle for me.)
4. A popular brand you think is overpriced - anything over $15 or so, pretty much. There are a lot of polishes I like in those higher price ranges - Jin Soon, Smith & Cult, etc., but I can rarely talk myself into spending that much money (at least not since Rescue Beauty Lounge went away). (And hell, who am I kidding, I think Essie and OPI are overpriced too. That's why I have so few.)
5. A trend you can't get on board with - nails with all kinds of jewels and stuff attached. It's pretty, but I don't want anything that can fall off, on my nails. That seems to me to be going against the whole point of nail polish.
6. A trend you didn't like at its peak but do now - I really can't think of anything here. Either I liked them ok to begin with or I started out hating them and continued to hate. (Added: I will say that I was unimpressed by textures in the beginning. The first ones that I remember seeing were Liquid Sands, the first bunch that OPI put out (I think maybe they were from a Mariah Carey collection?) and they didn't have glitter in them or anything and I just thought they were boring. Then somewhere along the line Julie G and Zoya started doing the more glittery ones and OPI's got better and so I started loving them. However, I think the point when I started liking them was well before the trend "peaked" - which is why I didn't think to talk about this in the first place.)
7. A color you don't wear often or at all - for me that's yellow. I own NO yellows, they look terrible on me. (I do have some metallic golds and some yellowish greens and oranges, so I have stuff that's sort of vaguely in the yellow-toned ballpark, but straight-out yellows? Zero.)
8. A polish you like but think is overhyped - let's say the Zoya holos - Aurora/Blaze/Storm, etc. They're great and I especially am partial to Dream, but I don't quite get the Best. Thing. Ever!!! response.
9. A popular top coat you don't like - actually I can't think of one here. I feel like this question is begging people to rag on Seche Vite, but Seche Vite is alright. (OK, I do think it's overpriced, especially for a polish that turns to goo before you get anywhere near the bottom, but up until that point it does a good job, so eh.)
10. A nail polish that doesn't get enough love - Zoya Carter (red-leaning purple Pixie dust, it's awesome)
(This is Carter. Not that nobody ever talks about this polish, but some of the paler Pixie Dusts seem to get a lot more love.)

NOTD: Meow Meow over Lodgepole Pine, matte

This is another manicure with a lot of layers, but at least nobody can say I'm not wearing green:
And it's lovely. It's a bit formal to wear to my decidedly informal job, but oh well. Everybody is pretty much used to me and my crazy manicures.

This is:
  1. Formula X The Fix (which is a treatment thing, not a real basecoat, but it seems to be holding up ok)
  2. Square Hue Lodgepole Pine, which is quite a dark green, in the Here Today Aragon Tomorrow ballpark
  3. Lodgepole Pine again
  4. RBL Meow Meow, a fairly dark green glitter
  5. Meow Meow again
  6. Matte Me Crazy

Thursday, March 16, 2017

TBT: Chupacabra over black

This is a long-discontinued polish, Mod Lacquer Chupacabra, over green:
But, y'know, I'm not posting this til the 16th, so it's not like you could run out and order it for St.Patrick's Day in any case, right? It's more like an idea: green glitter over black.

(I do love this polish, and I only have a tiny tiny mini - I don't think I've worn it since this mani in 2014, because of that, quite honestly. I'm going to try to wear it again sometime and there's going to be nothing left but a dried-up lump of green glitter.)

(Also, man, my hand is pink in this picture. I wasn't going to talk about that again but I just can't help myself.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Top 10 Zoyas

I've been meaning to do favorites by brand for a while, and here's the brand I have most of: Zoya. (I'll get others up gradually, I hope.)

I didn't get the bottles lined up fabulously straight here, but it was late and it'll have to do. They're not ranked within the top 10 or anything, but this is what I decided are my 10 favorites:
Top row: London, Daul, Cinnamon, Jem, Lotus
Bottom row: Carter, Carly, Reva, Remy, Zuza

(No cremes, you notice. Zoya does make good cremes, as well, but this is why I love them so much, for the shimmery, sparkly, and/or glass-fleck-type things.)

Added: links, above - more as I track them down.

Honorable mention for the polish that I most loved which is no longer available: Chloe. This would also be my most-worn Zoya, I'm fairly sure. (It's just your basic flakie, though, so I can't say I'm exactly pining for it. There's nothing really unique about it. On the other hand if Zoya started making it again I'd still buy it like a shot.)

I checked and all of the top 10 is still current. About half of the second 10 are discontinued, I think - Chloe, Luna. Irene, and the two Matte Velvets.

Here's a wheel with 18 of the top 20:
There were only 18 spots on this wheel and luckily there were two out of the 20 that don't show up well on the wheel, anyway - Chloe and Leia. The link to my pictures of Chloe is up above, and I had a go at taking pictures of Leia back a couple of months ago.

(Added: Numbers 1-10 on the wheel are the top 10 in the same order as the picture above, I believe. I think the other 8 are just in sort of a color wheel order - Harlow, Aster, Alice, Dream, Irene, Rikki, Luna, and Dovima.)

I may reswatch and do a post on Carly vs Jem (added: that's done, it's here), later on, because they are more similar than I realized. I started to throw one or the other out of the top 10 on that basis, but couldn't make up my mind which one, so I just said the heck with it finally and left them both. They are not next to each other - they are #4 and #7 on the wheel. They are not dupes, but they are awfully similar. See this picture of Carly where it looks less dark and more fuchsia.

Here's the back of the wheel with all the names, if you can make them out (and if you try, bear in mind that they're in reverse order from the front. Start with London, #1, and go counter-clockwise on the back):
I did take pictures individually of most of these polishes, but I'll put those up later on. I also took pictures of ALL my Zoyas - it took two pictures.

(Below the jump I'll leave my preliminary notes, if anybody's interested, and there's a bit more info about the second 10 there.)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Realm Of Erotica

This is Superchic Realm Of Erotica:
This is a pretty pinky-red linear holo. I bought this back in January and didn't get around to wearing it before Valentine's Day (or since) and never got around to posting this picture either. I've got to remember to try it, though! I've heard people say this polish is a true red, and very possibly the base is actually red, but under the daylight fluorescents in my living room it looks more fuchsia than true red. (I personally don't care about that, I'm fine with fuchsia, but for the record, that's what I'm seeing so far. As I said, I haven't worn it yet.)

I was wondering what the name is supposed to represent exactly - it's from the Dreamology collection so I guess it's just about racy dreams? That's my best guess, at least. Anyway, it's still available on Superchic's website.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dirty Sexy Money

This is Misa Dirty Sexy Money:
It's not exactly a St Pat's green - it's a little too blue for that - but it's close enough to be able to say you're wearing green, if that's an issue. This is a nice blue-leaning green creme - for some reason I have several of these that are pretty similar, so I probably should compare at some point and see if I want to destash at least one of them. (One is Color Show Tenacious Teal, and I think the other one is an indie that's discontinued.) For that matter I think Tenacious Teal is too. This one is still current, though.

Misa makes very nice polishes but they seem to be pretty low-profile. The ones I have I bought direct from Misa.

Friday, March 10, 2017

NOTD: Sparkling Garbage over Agro, matte

This is layers and layers of stuff and it's so much I hope it just doesn't peel right off my fingers - I wrote it all down last night and I already wasn't sure exactly what I did:
  1. Nail Nutrition Strength
  2. Superfood Base Coat
  3. China Glaze Agro
  4. Orly Sparkling Garbage
  5. more Sparkling Garbage (I think it was only two coats but I won't swear to that, it might've been three)
  6. ColorStay Sealing Shine (which is the oldest version of ColorStay, I think - practically vintage! but it's a nice top-coat)
  7. NYC Matte Me Crazy
So 7 or maybe 8 coats. I'm sure I've done more layers than that in one manicure, at some point before, but this is up there. But I really like it a lot. Mattified glitters are kind of my thing lately, I don't know if anybody's noticed. Sparkling Garbage without the matte is - as its name implies - really super-sparkly and I like it a lot, but for normal daily wear I like it better matte. You can still see all the little shiny bits but it doesn't look like you're at the disco. And I like it a lot over Agro, too - Agro by itself is dark olive but this lightens it up without losing that olive-tone completely.

I'm not sure either one of these colors is technically a current color but I bought both of them on Amazon not too too long ago (a few months, I think), so they are probably findable.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

TBT: VT-100

I don't do Throwback Thursday posts really regularly, but I get on kicks of doing them occasionally, and I thought with St. Patrick's Day coming up and then with Greenery being the color of the year and everything, this end of winter/beginning of spring period might be a good time to show some greens. I have a few in regular stash posts coming up as well, but for TBTs I usually do old manicure pictures.

This is Pretty Serious VT-100, matte (from this post):
I believe it's named after an old terminal or something - man, you have to be an older person now to remember those old terminals with amber or green letters. I guess that was in the 80s, maybe. That's what this makes me think of, although (let me be perfectly clear about this) I wasn't very computer-literate back then.

I just looked up VT100 and they're even older than that (meaning the terminal not the polish), they date back to the late 70s - I do remember seeing those around but that was before I had had anything to do with computers at all! (Small anecdote: when I started grad school in 1981 they explained to us in an introductory lecture what "the computer is up" or "the computer is down" meant. I think I did know that by that time but not much else. There were no personal computers to speak of until a couple of years later, after all.)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pirouette My Whistle

This is OPI Pirouette My Whistle, in a mini size:
I wanted to make this picture even bigger because it's difficult to see otherwise, but this turns out to be pretty much as large a size as my regular blog format will hold. (You should be able to click on the picture and get it larger, though.) It's not anything outstandingly different, but it is another really pretty top-coat. It's very fine silver glitter. I have a bunch of these OPI minis and I tend to forget to wear them, but this is one I really ought to remember more often. It is still a current core OPI color.

Added link: Miss Holly's review

Monday, March 6, 2017


This is Sally Girl Sparkle, which as you can see is one of those polishes in the "snowman" bottle:
This is the only one of these I've ever bought, but I do like this one. It's not unique - it's another glitter top-coat, something I have a lot of - but it's a really pretty example. I liked it a lot over this bright pink (which was Orly Color Blast Free Spirit - you can see the bottle over on the left).

These are always LE things for the holidays, anyway, so probably not available - plus "Sally Girl" seems to be a discontinued line as well. (I think they've been replaced by Bitzy.)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

NOTD: The Last Petal

Here's the Beauty and the Beast tie in, The Last Petal:
Actually (if you want to be literal) I think a dying red rose would be darker than this, but anyway, it does a good job of mimicking that darkened rose kind of color. It's a beautiful polish.

Later in the week I added RBL Bubblegum Punk (sorry it's all chipped, but I had had it on for a good while at that point):
I almost deleted this picture, just because I think it's prettier than you can tell from this, but I'll leave it for the record, I guess! (I should have a Bubblegum Punk post coming up soon, it's one of the few I haven't gotten around to showing yet.)

(Also for the record, I actually wore this one before that NOTD in the last post. I'm just late getting it up here.)

(I was going to add the other manicure I did in the last couple of weeks, which was Stone Cold Karma and then RBL Pretty Gritty, but I don't seem to have the picture.)

NOTD: Das Esspensive

This is KL Polish Das Esspensive XXV (a limited-edition polish for Kathleen's 25th birthday):
I decided to buy this on a whim, basically - I wasn't sure I would like it but I really do. In fact I like it enough that I've been trying to talk myself out of buying a backup bottle - however, I just looked and it's sold out, so I guess that temptation has been removed. It's a sort of a champagne glitter, with some holo glitter mixed in. It's got a fairly thick consistency, and two coats is all it takes to get opaque. This picture does not do it justice at all - it's gorgeous. But not too too flashy, which is a trick, especially considering that there's holo glitter involved..

Kathleen talks about this polish here:
I assume from what she says there that this won't be restocked.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Stone Cold Karma Luxe

This is Rococo Stone Cold Karma Luxe:
I suspect that Rococo is out of business. It was a British brand, I think, and I don't think they ever had a website at all. I bought a couple of colors from Space.NK a couple of years ago, but I looked there a while back, I know, and they didn't seem to have them any more. I searched today and all I found was some colors on eBay. So either they're out of business or they're only available from someplace that doesn't show up in a search (which is weird, to me, but it's possible). Anyway, as you can see, this is a tan shimmer. If you like that kind of thing, it's nice. It's not really my kind of thing, but I wore it just the other day and it's not unflattering on me. Of course I got bored after a day or so and put something else on top of it - that's just what I do. (If it hadn't had the shimmer I doubt I would have even lasted the day.)