Sunday, April 30, 2017

Hypnotic vs Oui!

My husband gave me Revlon Hypnotic as a little surprise for my birthday - bear in mind that the Zoya Earth Day haul is also meant to be part of my birthday present, and I also have a monster gift set from Sephora that's also a birthday goodie. I actually thought Hypnotic was a pretty good pick - on the whole he has a better track record picking out jewelry for me than nail polish. (I love my red-violets - maybe I should give him a hint for the future that thinking purple was a really good idea.) But I also thought it looked awfully similar to Marc Jacobs Oui! which I bought when they were all on 50%-off sale a couple of months ago. So I thought I would do a comparison right off the bat, instead of just showing one or the other and saying vaguely, "Oh, I should have done a comparison!" like I usually do.

So here's Oui:

I thought immediately that Hypnotic looked just like this. But I also thought that if anything Oui would be lighter, and that proved to be the case:
They do look very similar in the bottle, don't they? Berry-colored and super-shimmery, and I think the formulas are very similar, as well. But they're definitely not dupes. On the wheel #11 (on the bottom) is Oui, and Hypnotic is #12, just above that. And Hypnotic is very definitely darker, and slightly more purple. Oui is slightly more pink.

(Also, I don't know what it is about those Revlon bottles, but somehow I always end up with nail polish on the black part of the cap. I suppose it's just that they're dark and reflective, but it happens every single time. This one is brand-new and somehow I managed to do it once again, on the very first use.)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Guys & Galaxies

This is Nicole by OPI Guys & Galaxies:
(It's #3 on the wheel, as you might guess.) You can't really tell it on the wheel here, but this has a quite a lot of holo glitter in it. You can see it a little in the bottle. It's mostly silver glitter, but with the holo glitter mixed in. It's very pretty.

Added: here's my previous post where I showed this polish, just about a year ago. The interesting thing there is that I swatched it next to Funky Fingers Sand & Stilettos, which is much more holo than this polish.

As I mentioned before, I only have three NOPI polishes, and apparently Cinna-man Of My Dreams was the only one I went out and bought. One came from proofs of purchase from cereal, of all things, and then this one came from Ipsy. (And it was an Ipsy exclusive, the post that I linked above says.) One of my big gripes with Ipsy, in fact, was that they made a big deal about how they tailor your Ipsy bags to your tastes - but I only ever got two nail polishes, in a year or so - this one, and one Formula X mini - but I got lots of mascara, which I can't wear. That's the #1 reason I eventually bailed on Ipsy. I have been a lot happier with Sephora Play, even though they don't send much nail polish, either, and do send mascara, precisely because they don't really pretend to tailor things to you - they send more or less the same items to everybody. (I got really sick of playing the "who got the best stuff?" game with Ipsy bags. They varied in quality very wildly. Whereas if Sephora is sending out moisturizer, for example, in a given month, they may not send the same brand of moisturizer to everybody but whatever moisturizer you get will be more or less equivalent.)

(Incidentally, I used to go on at great length about the contents of my Sephora Play boxes on this blog, but I've finally given up on doing that, the last couple of months. If anybody was paying attention, you've probably noticed already, but I'm guessing that nobody much was.)

Give Me Space

This is OPI Give Me Space:
This must have been in the 2015 holiday collection - it's a navy holo. I have Issues with holos sometimes, which I'm talked about before, but actually I quite like this one.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Destash: dark reds

A few more destash candidates, and why. I'm pretty sure Kierra and Karina were among my very earliest Zoya  purchases.

Karina, which is a nice glittery red but I never wear it:

Kierra, which I used to love, but which nowadays goes on goopy and streaky and is not a really fascinating color, anyway. (I wonder if it was always that way - I'm not sure.)

Riley, which some people love but I just don't:

Destash: bright reds, etc

Things fished out of the destash box (with the reason I'm destashing):

Zoya Sooki, because it's more orange than I like:

Square Hue Via Della Spiga, which is a really nice blue-red but I've just got too many other things like it:

Revlon Parfumerie China Flower, again because it's too much of a chili-pepper orange-red:

Zoya Ali, which always looks in pictures like I would like it, but it's too neon and it just looks terrible against my skin-tone:
(It's just not as pink as it looks in this picture, either - on my monitor, at least, the camera lies.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Destash: purples

I did new swatches for some polishes that were in my destash box, the ones that I can't quite make my mind up about. I think in some cases it'll help me be decisive. (I've got them divided up by color, so they'll probably go up in several installments.

This is Zoya Roxy:
It looks really pretty in this picture and I remember how much I wanted it when I first discovered its existence (red-violet glitter!!!!), but the fact is that I've had it for years and I never wear it. (Maybe I'll make a "one more try" category for things like this, the ones that you can't quite detach yourself from. The problem is that I have a lot of those.) (added: I made a tag called "use it or lose it" rather than "one more try." The idea is, I put everything in this category in one place, and if I still haven't worn them after a while, then they go. I'll report back on whether this works out!)

Which reminds me, destashing is all the rage on Youtube right now, and I won't name names, but I sat through somebody's long long long destash video, and I don't know why I kept watching, but more than once I was hissing, "Make up your mind!" at the computer screen. (If you're watching this and wondering if it's you, probably not. There are a lot of these videos out there, as I said - and anyway, I've got no room to criticize. Pot, meet kettle. I just do mine in text and pictures instead of video.)

Zoya Harmonie:
I've worn this as my designated Easter polish for several years now, but it's awfully sheer and I've acquired a couple more pastel-ish purples in the last year and poor Harmonie has become superfluous. That word just popped into my head, but I think it's perfect for the way I feel about this polish. I still kinda like it, but I don't need it any more.

Square Hue Baby, Baby, Baby:
I talked about this polish and its Justin Bieber reference back here, This is a pretty color but not a great formula, and I have so many purples that streakiness is enough to keep it in the destash box thus far. (Added: I'm looking at the lighter shimmer in the darker base, visible on the nail here, and thinking maybe this should be in the "one more try" category. Because I'm not sure if I actually do have anything else quite like that.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Earth Day & birthday

I justified the purchase from the Earth Day sale by saying it was for my birthday (see here - I think I ordered before that entry was actually posted last weekend, though - maybe late Friday night or Saturday) and the polishes actually got here very quick, because they've been sitting here a couple of days. I said at first I wasn't going to open them til my actual birthday, which is still a few days away, but then I caved:
I had a pretty decent reason for caving, though, which was that I got in the mood to take pictures late last night. I usually only do that every couple of weeks, so I figured I might as well go ahead and do these while I was at it.

I'm real pleased with what I got, anyway:
Top row: Anaka, Mimi, Logan
Bottom row (all Pixie Dusts): Destiny, Stevie, Vespa

If Logan is supposed to be a glass-fleck I had forgotten that, but it sure looks like it might be a similar formula to Mimi (which I know is a glass-fleck, from the old Sparkle collection). I was worried it (Logan, that is) might be more on the yellow side than I like, but it's really not. I'm in love. Happy birthday to me.

An Affair In Red Square

This is OPI An Affair In Red Square:
This is a current color (I finally did check on that, and it is) and I'm on my second bottle of it - it's from a Russia collection that I think was more than ten years ago. I had this in the discard box (because this bottle has a bad brush, for one thing, but also because I just have too many reds that are similar to this) and I took it out of the box again, because I wasn't sure I could bear to get rid of it. Then I put it in my OPI favorites - and I'm not saying that I've had second thoughts about that, but I reswatched it for this picture and I think it's going to end up back in the discard box, mostly because of the brush issue. It's a great color, but it's also not that different from other things - like I'm Not Really A Waitress, for example. I had them next to each other and I couldn't tell which was which, seriously. (Added: that's not to say that the two of them are dupes, they're not. But they are awfully similar. Maybe I'll do a direct comparison at some point.)

(Scrangie comes through again - fall 2007, this was. So not quite 10 years, but very close to it. And I didn't remember that it was the same collection as both Russian Navy and Vodka and Caviar - both also classics.)

In fact, I started off this round of the Neverending Stash Project by comparing reds, way back in early 2016. So, well over a year and some 500 posts later (I'm not kidding, either, you can check), I've circled back around to the premise I started with, which is that red is red. I still think that's basically the case - there are variations and there are glitters and metallics and there are cool reds and warm reds, but mostly people are just going to look at your hands and go, "Nice red nail polish."

And hmm, I apparently looked up the Russia collection back then, too. I'd forgotten.

(And this is not to say that I'm done talking about reds. That wheel above full of reds is all candidates for the discard box, and so you're probably going to hear a lot more about this, in fact.)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Houston We Have A Purple

Here is another one of my OPI favorites, Houston We Have A Purple, from the Texas collection several years ago:
This is one of several polishes from that collection that OPI called "sorbets" and everybody else would call "jellies." I did a post last year comparing it to Orly Purple Poodle, because Purple Poodle is basically an almost identical jelly base with a lot of added shimmer. Houston We Have A Purple lacks the glitter, but I still like it. It's a good polish for layering.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Alcatraz... Rocks

This OPI Alcatraz... Rocks, a Liquid Sand (aka texture) polish, which was in my favorite OPIs list:
This one coat on the wheel, but I sometimes wear two coats, because it darkens it to something more like the bottle color. But unless you manage to put on very thin coats, this is plenty thick with one coat, so it's just a matter of whether you want it darker or not. (You can see that in other people's pictures that it looks darker than my swatch here.) It looks more navy with two coats but you can see here it has some violet tones to it - besides the violet glitter that's popping up very obviously in this picture. The glitter is actually very multicolored. This was in the San Francisco collection originally, but I believe this is still a current color.

And like many glittery textured polishes, it also looks awesome top-coated. (Basically, you're trading texture for extra sparkle when you do this.)

(Note that this was in my 2014 favorites.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Only Shop Vintage

This is of course a long-discontinued polish (but I put it in my favorites anyway), Sephora by OPI I Only Shop Vintage:
I love this polish even though it's much closer to a nude color than I usually venture. It seems to have a sort of a caramel-colored base and then it's got all this micro-metallic stuff going on and it is truly a vintage gold color. I don't know of anything else really like this polish.

I was experimenting with holding up the nail wheel etc. - that's why this is not laying flat. I tried this for a couple of polishes, but I think it works pretty well for this one in particular since it's practically the same color as my wooden tray that I usually use for a background for my "flat lay" pictures. Holding it up may have gotten a little more contrast, I think. But I doubt that I'll be doing this all the time.

Who Are You Wearing?

The big bottle here is OPI Who Are You Wearing? which was in my OPI favorites (the little one is for comparison purposes, I'll talk about that in a minute).
I talked about this way back in June but I didn't have a picture where you could see it very well. Of course this is a very dark polish and it's hard to see well even in the best pictures - but anyway this picture is better than the old one. The mini is one of the most famous OPI polishes ever, Lincoln Park After Dark. Obviously superficially they're very similar - at least, you really can't tell much difference  at all in the bottle. On the nail there is a pretty noticeable difference - Who Are You Wearing is blue-violet where LPAD is more of a neutral leaning toward red-violet. I also think that Who Are You Wearing is even darker than LPAD, by a little bit. But for some reason I like it more. I like the blurple aspect of it, and I also think I had this before I ever saw Lincoln Park After Dark and maybe that's why I've never particularly cared about the latter.

I got a bit snippy about LPAD in my "unpopular opinions" post a month or so ago - that's in the answer to the first question, there - and honestly, this polish has pretty much the same issues I was talking about there. Maybe it's more obviously shimmery than LPAD? I can't put my finger on why I like this better, I just know I do.

(But unfortunately Who Are You Wearing is discontinued, probably because it's so similar to LPAD, I'd guess.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cinna-man Of My Dreams

This is NOPI Cinna-man Of My Dreams, which was in my favorite OPI polishes.
This is a pinky-coppery texture, and I really don't know of anything else like it - certainly not anything that's a texture. It occurred to me that it's kind of similar to Hard Candy Crush On Lava, if you turned that into a texture. One of those pinky-metallic shifty polishes that were so trendy several years ago. (I think I'm thinking of Mac Bad Fairy, maybe?)

Nicole by OPI bottles are really rather strange-looking - I'm sure the rationale was that they would sit more securely while you're doing your manicure, but most nail polish junkies complain about them because they take up more space in a Helmer. I only ever had three of them so it's never been a big enough problem that I got particularly annoyed with them. But I never saw much reason to run out and buy them either, except for this one.

I have always loved this polish and I've always wondered if the name had anything to do with the character Cinna from the Hunger Games movies. It did appear along about that time, as I recall. But apparently it was from a holiday collection called Gumdrops, which has candy-related names. (That's not to say that whoever came up with this name in the first place wasn't admiring Cinna as much as I always have, but it's certainly not overtly named after Lenny Kravitz or his character, at least.)

Favorite OPI polishes

I don't have all that many regular OPIs, as I said (it was only 19 full-size plus 11 minis), so I included both Sephora by OPI (which I have 11 of, I think) and Nicole by OPI (only three) in this group. So out of those 44 polishes, I came up with 8 favorites altogether:
The links here are to the wheel swatches for these polishes.

And yeah, I just got Goldeneye and I haven't even had time to wear it yet, but I put it in my favorites anyway, because it is just gorgeous.

Here are the five OPIs:
(L-R: Alcatraz Rocks, Who Are You Wearing, Houston We Have A Purple, An Affair In Red Square, and Goldeneye)

and then the two SOPIs and the one NOPI:
(L-R: I Only Shop Vintage, Traffic Stopper Copper, Cinna-man Of My Dreams)

Added: I completely forgot to talk about what is and isn't discontinued and obviously I didn't take that into account when I was coming up with favorites. All Sephora by OPIs are discontinued and to my knowledge Cinna-man Of My Dreams is discontinued as well. I think Who Are You Wearing is LONG discontinued and so is Goldeneye, although obviously Goldeneye is findable because I just bought mine. (I did a quick Amazon search for Who Are You Wearing and didn't find anything. It's something like 10 years old, if I'm remembering right, so it might be a tough one.) The other three, I'm not 100% sure they're all current but I think they'd be findable even if not. I know Affair In Red Square used to be core. (I could check but it's late and I'm not gonna. You guys can google as well as I can!)

And this is most of my OPI/SOPI/NOPI collection:
When I tried to count I came up a couple of minis short, but this is most of them, in any case. You can't tell what is what here, anyway, but you can see that compared to many people's, my OPI collection is very small, Somehow I just never drank the OPI Kool-Aid to the same extent as a lot of people. And lately practically all they make are creams and so I have even less interest. (But they make some nice polishes, I'm certainly not slamming them.)

(If you're really dying to know what I have, the list is over here.)

Most of the minis I have are very middle-of-the-road, "classic" colors, mostly cremes - really German-icure was the only one I even halfway considered putting on this list. What I did choose for the top 8, you notice, is heavy on metallics and unusual formulas. One Liquid Sand (plus the NOPI, which is also a texture), one bright copper top-coat, a really bright metallic gold and a very subdued vintage-y gold, one sorbet, a metallic red and a dark blurple with heavy shimmer. Runners up were probably Starry-Eyed For Dear Daniel (the metallic pink from the Hello Kitty Collection) and German-icure (shimmery red-brown).

Monday, April 17, 2017


Here's OPI Goldeneye:
This is #4 on the wheel (as you might guess since nothing else here looks like it at all). This is from the Skyfall collection, and I didn't think it would be easily findable any more, but actually I found it on eBay for something like $8.95 including shipping, which is a perfectly reasonable price, amazingly. And well, I'm really in love. So even though I already have things that are relatively similar (I'll have to hunt around and compare) I can't say I'm at all sorry about buying it.

(Added: I have never had any problems with fakes, but I've heard of such things, and when I buy things from eBay & Amazon I do wonder a bit, especially if they're really good deals. But I compared this bottle with my other OPIs of that vintage, and it looks just the same - it has the batch numbers or whatever those extra numbers are on the bottom label - and the polish looks like the pictures I've seen, so it seems to be legit. I did the same thing with the Nail Junkie bottles I got from Amazon lately, but there were no problems with those either that I could detect.)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Nothing but lists

It's pretty slow at work tonight, so I was looking around at Zoyas and also poking around my recent stash posts (Zoya, Sinful Colors, & Sally Hansen) and thinking about what I might destash. So here's two lists: (1) the Zoyas I might buy, and (2) things I might destash (some of which I may send to Zoya for recycling, which is the nominal point of the Earth Day promo, after all).

My birthday is coming up and I had told Rob I wanted a certain rather expensive new bag - but I can't find exactly what I want and I may just give up on that and get nail polish instead. (My old bag is still perfectly usable and I still like it, so why do I need a new one, right?) So given that, I might splurge a little more on Zoyas. (Earlier I said I wasn't buying more than six, but now I've caved a bit - EIGHT. That's still the maximum. Anything more than that is ridiculous given how many I already have.) And the other thing is I might get some stuff from Sephora, because the semi-annual VIB sale is coming up - I got a code in the mail. That part might be something other than nail polish, though.

So list #1 is possible Zoya purchases (this is two sublists, actually, Pixie Dusts and not-Pixie-Dusts):

Pixie Dusts:
  • Destiny - red-orange
  • Nyx - periwinkle
  • Stevie - red-violet
  • Vespa - pale jade
NOT Pixie Dusts:
  • Anaka ("glam pink")
  • Maria-Luisa - gold topper
  • Mimi (glass fleck purple)
  • Finley (Urban Grunge - dk purple holo)
I had a longer list but that's the short list right now. It might change - for example, there's two pretty dark purples there (Mimi and Finley, although they're nothing like dupes) and I'm worried about Nyx being awfully light in some pictures I've seen. I think that was also why I haven't bought both Nyx and Vespa previously, but I think Vespa darkens down enough that it'll be ok. Nyx may too but I'm less sure about it. This may change at any time until I actually order. (But I also think that the sooner you order on the Earth Day sale, the more likely you are not to have to wait a month to get your order, as has been known to happen sometimes!)

Later: I did actually order and I only ordered six after all. I put all eight of the polishes above in my cart, but then I took Nyx and Finley out again - I decided I thought Nyx was too pale, after I looked at a bunch of pictures. And I looked at more pictures and decided I was right that Mimi and Finley were too much the same shade of purple, even though they're different finishes. But Mimi is a glass fleck and I adore glass flecks, so it won. Finley is a holo and I like holos some days more than others; therefore, Finley got kicked while Mimi stayed. Then I put in two more polishes not on the list above (yeah, I was really waffling) - Logan (a green) and Nimue (a grayed-out purple). Then I looked at pictures some more and took Nimue out again, mostly because it showed definite brushstrokes in several pictures, and I don't need any more of that aggravation in my life - or at least, let's say, I have to really love a polish to be willing to put up with brushstrokes, and Nimue didn't pass that test! And then last of all, I took Maria-Luisa out because I just have so many gold top-coats already. This one said "cellophane" and that sounds awesome but I just couldn't quite talk myself into it. I was also waffling a bit on Destiny but I left that in. So I ended up with Destiny, Stevie, Vespa, Anaka, Mimi, and Logan. (Tangentially: I know Logan can be a girl's name too but all I can think of is Wolverine. That's throwing me off - but not enough to keep me from ordering it just the same.) Obviously when these turn up later on, you'll hear a lot more about them.

And then we come to the destash list. I have trouble detaching emotionally from quite a few of my polishes, I've talked about that before - but I'm making an effort. So I have the reasons why I'm destashing on this list to remind myself!

Sally Hansens (of various sub-brands):
  • Azure (crappy formula)
  • Black & Blue (because I never wear it)
  • Glitz Gal (because it looks like sludge)
  • Gray By Gray (because I never wear it)
  • Mist You (too pale)
  • Steely Gaze (dupe for several other dark grays)
  • Unbreakable Heart (dupe for several other reds)
  • Vanity Flare (dupe, & formula is iffy)
Sinful Colors:
Zoyas I will probably destash (although you can't send Zoyas back to Zoya in the Earth Day promo, that's in the fine print): 
  • Sooki (too orange) 
  • Ali (not flattering on me)
  • Charlotte (too pale)
  • Karina (maybe - just because I never wear it)
  • Riley (just sorta boring to me)
(The reason you can't send Zoyas to Zoya is because they don't have harmful chemicals in them to begin with, although I notice they don't extend that caveat to other 3-free brands!)

This is that Mystery Trio which includes Charlotte. Charlotte is the palest one. I think the dark one is Anais, which might also be a destash candidate. The only one I really care about keeping is the metallic one, which I think is Severine.

Next up in the stash-by-brand queue is Pretty Serious, so I'm starting to think about destashes there, too. After that is OPI (including Sephora by OPI & Nicole by OPI). (If anybody notices and is wondering, I actually wrote this before I wrote all the Pretty Serious posts that I posted in the last few days, but then I saw that PS was having their sale over the weekend and I changed the order around because of that.)

I saw this picture and I think this one is already in the destash box too - Maybelline Magenta Mirage, which as you can see is a crackle.
This particular nail crackled in an interesting way, but I could never get anything resembling consistent results over a whole manicure. (Wasn't there a question in that "unpopular opinions" tag about "trends you never got on board with"? Because maybe I should have said crackles. I wanted to like them, but somehow they never grabbed me when I actually tried them. I imagine I'm not the only one who feels that way.)

Fire In The Sky

(One more Pretty Serious polish before I go on to other things!) This is Fire In The Sky:
On the wheel it's over Black Creme, at #5. The flakies don't show up spectacularly well in this photo, but I do really like this polish, and I need to remember to experiment around with it more. (There are several more flakies in different colorways on this page.)

Saturday, April 15, 2017


I posted my top 5 Pretty Serious polishes, and here is a swatch of Kashmir:
This was a collab polish with Serenity Nails. Unfortunately it doesn't show up well on my swatch, here (#7). You can see in the bottle, though, that's there's a lot going on here. (Still available, apparently.)

PS links and pictures

I said I was going to post more Pretty Serious polishes this weekend, in case you're wanting to buy stuff at the sale and you need recommendations. The sale is on their front page, but it's 20% off everything with code FUNNYBUNNY, "through the long weekend" although since they're based in Australia that might just mean through Sunday for us North Americans, I don't know. (This is not a sponsored post, I just have this on my brain, apparently. Probably because I'm putting off doing my taxes, still.)

One thing I wanted to point out is that Kaz puts some stuff like flakie top-coats in the Nail Care section, where I feel like it's easy to miss. I have Fire In The Sky which is one of a whole set called Opal Treasures, and those and some other top coats are on that Nail Care page.

Here's some links to other places in this blog where I've talked about PS polishes:
A haul post and a NOTD
A different haul
And some swatches
Daphne's Disco Party (which has been on clearance but was still available last I looked)
Party By The Pool (which has also been on clearance, and I also want to point out that I love this polish enough that I just ordered a back-up bottle from the clearance sale the other day)

Added: Here's the picture of all of my Pretty Serious polishes - I think it's 21 of them.
(If you're curious to know exactly what I have here, see my Stash by Brand list.)

I already showed BSOD but here it is from when I first bought it, still in the box. (The other polish is VT100 which I'm pretty sure is not currently available. It's worth pointing out that PS does do repromotes from time to time, so it's worth keeping an eye on the website to see if discontinued polishes that you like turn up again later.)

Poltergeist Puddle:


I posted my top 5 Pretty Serious polishes, and to go along with that, here is a swatch of BSOD:
This was from the very first Pretty Serious collection ever, appropriately titled Hello World. This is a really really stunning royal-blue glitter with a jelly base.

(Note again that PS has an Easter-weekend special with code FUNNYBUNNY - 20% off everything.)

Kaz writes some hilarious copy from time to time, and here's the one for BSOD:
All your friends will stop and stare at this beautiful blue jelly packed to bursting with blue glitter. Don't make the critical error of passing this one up! 
Disclaimer: Any instance of Blue Screen of Death while purchasing this product is a complete coincidence. Quite possibly the coolest coincidence ever, but still a coincidence.
(Digging around the old PS blog one day, I found this post about the Hello World collection, which is pretty awesome and has an actual screencap of the dreaded BSOD.) (Note: apparently that page went away when they changed the website.)

(No disclosures necessary.)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Top 5 Pretty Serious polishes

I wasn't going to post this until Monday, but I notice PS has 20% off everything this weekend (code FUNNYBUNNY) so I thought I would go ahead & post now in case somebody is looking for ideas.

My Pretty Serious Top 5, in no particular order:
L-R: Kashmir, Poltergeist Puddle, Swatch and Learn, Elliot, BSOD

BSOD, Elliot, and Poltergeist Puddle are all still available through PS' classics pageKashmir is also still available. Swatch and Learn was a collab polish and I really liked it, but I don't see it listed any more. (Poltergeist Puddle was presumably a Halloween release but I don't know which year offhand. BSOD was from Hello World, which was the original introductory PS line, and which was tech-related. BSOD = Blue Screen of Death, which is something that used to be the bane of Windows users but which you don't see often nowadays!)

I talked about Elliot the other day - that's where the link above (that is, the one just below the picture) goes. P-Puddle was also my favorite polish of 2016, so it has its own entry there.

(I did swatches, maybe I'll put some of them up over the weekend, too.)

Ichi Hanami was probably my Honorable Mention here, and it's from the Museum of Naileontology series. I've already talked about it recently so I won't say much this time. I do notice it's back in stock now, though.

(No disclosures necessary, for the record.)

Zoya Earth Day + Nail Tees

I think most nail polish junkies know to look for Zoya's Earth Day promo around this time of year, but just in case, I thought I'd point out that this year's version is underway. Code is EARTHLUV, it goes all the way through May 10th. All the info is here, but the short version is 50% off, minimum 6, and it includes free shipping. I don't do this promo every year, but I've been looking at Pixie Dusts, as I mentioned yesterday, and I'm contemplating stocking up on some of those that I don't already have. I started a list and so far it's about half and half, Pixie Dusts and other assorted stuff. (I'm going to limit myself to six, though, if I do this. No sense in getting carried away!)

Also, I know that Nail Tees are nothing new, but I'd never had any until recently and I am in love, a bit. If you've been a regular reader here for a while, you've seen me apologize repeatedly for imperfectly-cleaned-up manicures. And if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed that those apologies have been less frequent lately, and I think these guys are the main reason why.
I've tried brushes and Q-tips and all that, and I just have trouble manipulating them. For whatever reason, I do a lot better with these. They're not perfect, but they're helpful.

(As usual, no disclosures required. Nobody's paying me for anything here.)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

NOTD: Alice, Bubblegum Punk'd

I was really intending to wear Zoya Harmonie today but when I went to look for it I couldn't find it. (I've been doing all these favorites/stash by brand posts, and my stash in general is totally scrambled.) I did find Zoya Alice, though, so I decided to go with that. And then I'd been watching Yukie's Pixie Dust video (I'll link it at the bottom) and she was talking about putting holo top-coats or other top-coats on them. I don't really have an out-and-out holo top-coat, but I decided on RBL Bubblegum Punk, which sparkles in a variety of colors. I think I picked well, although I also feel my normal impulse to pull out the Matte Me Crazy and tamp things down. This is a shiny shiny mani!
(So far I have resisted the temptation to get out the matte top-coat.)

Here is Alice alone. The last time I swatched it I thought it seemed like a more dusty color than it actually is in real life!
(In fact, it is not dusty at all that I could tell. And hmm, here is the old swatch and it doesn't look particularly dusty at all, either, so I don't know where I got that idea.)

Yukie's Pixie Dusts:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rockstar Pink

This is Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink:
This is not really pastel at all, but it's a good sparkly polish for Easter, should you be in the market for such a thing - and it was current the last time I looked, I believe. It's very awesome, actually, either over a bright pink or on its own. I think I've seen it called a "must-own" polish and while I don't really believe in the concept that there's such a thing a nail polish that everybody really must own, still, this is a great pink glitter that even people who don't normally like pink seem to like. (I think what most people are really saying when they say "must own" is "you should try this, even if it's not normally your thing" and that definitely applies here.) And it's under $3 most places, so there's not much to lose.

Note that I swatched this last year and it came out looking much paler. Not sure why that is. (More coats, I'm thinking.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NOTD: Azalea + Alpha Nail

In the spirit of Easter (sort of), I give you another of my "semi-pastel" or "passes vaguely for pastel" manicures:
This is Zoya Azalea and NPB Alpha Nail on top. Azalea is just your basic sort of rosy pink color - Zoya calls it "a classic spring pink with a captivating white and fuchsia flash" and they also call it metallic, but it's not really what I think of as metallic. It seems to me to be more like a sort of pearlescent thing going on in there. I mean, presumably Zoya knows what's going on with their own formulas but it just doesn't look terribly metallic to me at all. Maybe I'm seeing the white and fuchsia flash and picking that up as pearly, I don't know. And then Alpha Nail just basically gives it some extra sparkly kick - it's a topcoat with blue & purple shift, says NPB. Both of these are currently available polishes. (There's also an undercoat to this mani which I'll talk about below. I don't think you see much of it here anyway.)

I don't know what the heck I did to my hands last night, but not only is the finish marred in this picture like I went to bed with it still wet (which I don't recall being the case) but also the nails on both of my index fingers were trying to come off at the quick - and so I just got out my good nail scissors and trimmed everything back to being really short again. They were just now getting to be a halfway decent length, so it figures. I'm pretty resigned to just having short nails forever, though.

OK, here's the full sequence of polishes here:
The one hovering off to the edge on the left is not actually in this manicure, I'll probably show that later on, since I did some swatches. The actual sequence is OPI Japanese Rose Garden and then Azalea and Alpha Nail. This didn't start out to be an Azalea manicure at all; I was really thinking of something paler and I got sidetracked, mid-manicure. I don't think Japanese Rose Garden is still in the OPI lineup - it's a slightly dusty rose color (from some long-ago Japan collection, presumably) which is a one-coater. I'm sure there are things pretty similar to it out there. And like I said above, I don't think much of that polish shows here at all, anyway.

I don't truly love Japanese Rose Garden but it's a good basecoat to put under other pinks - Aphrodite's Pink Nightie was my old standard for what to put over it.


This is Pretty Serious Elliot, which (and this is actually a spoiler at this point) is in my top 5 Pretty Serious polishes:
(Only one other of the ones in this picture made the favorites list, though - I'm not making it that obvious!)

I said I was doing "semi-pastels" this week, and really I don't think this even qualifies as a semi-pastel - it's pretty bright, actually - but a lot of things people pass off as pastels around Easter-time are just as bright as this, so I decided I'd let it fly. Anyway, it's spring-like and super-pretty and that's the important part, right? It's a bright sky blue that's full of micro-sparkly stuff, and it's pretty much a core color for PS, I think - at least, it's on the classics page, which is as close as Kaz comes to "core" AFAIK. It's current, anyway. (She's also closing some stuff out at the moment, so be sure to cruise by the sale page if you go over there!)

It's not really much of a spoiler considering that Elliot was in my top 5 for 2015 as well. I've enthused about this polish at great length more than once, probably. Anyway, I'll get the rest of the top 5 up soon. (For the record, I am a big fan of PS, but they're not paying me or anything. No disclosures required here.)

Added: I found a note I'd written that said Elliot is originally from the In the Night collection in 2012 (the link goes to Scrangie's post on it).

Monday, April 10, 2017


Here is Zoya Rikki, which was in my favorite Zoya polishes:
In honor of Easter, this week's theme is "semi-pastel" - polishes pale enough to pass for Easter colors, but not pale enough look bad on those of us who don't wear the truly pale pastels well. This is #16 on the wheel if you can read the numbers - it's the paler of the two greens. Honestly, this is pale enough that I have mostly worn this layered over another green. I've also worn it under RBL Locavore, which is a glitter, and that's also a nice pairing. Anyway, Zoya's description is "a full-coverage, fern green metallic with flecks of silver and gold."

(Here's Rikki + Locavore, from this time last year.)

Added: I looked again and Rikki was not in the 10 top Zoyas, it was in the 2nd 10. (As if anybody cares about that.)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

NOTD: Zuza + Nail Junkie (matte, of course)

I'm on this blue-green tear for some reason, so I started with Zoya Zuza and went from there. I think I started with Superfood base-coat (it was days ago now, but that's what I use most and I don't remember picking up anything else), then did two coats of Zuza. Then, well, remember how I said I bought multiple bottles of Nail Junkie? I couldn't resist trying it out. I think I only did one coat of that, but I can't 100% swear to that either at this point. (I remember the two coats of Zuza, though, go figure.) And then I finished up with Matte Me Crazy. As you can see it doesn't really make it truly matte, at least not with a flashy glitter like NJ. It just tamps it down some.
I showed Zuza alone earlier this week and I think that adding Nail Junkie made it lean just slightly more blue. Zuza on its own is more green than blue, and while you can see that it didn't shift it hugely off from the bottle color, I do think it changed it a bit.

This wore quite well, I'd had it on for two or three days when I took this picture and I still have it on - it's looking a bit ragged now (after a solid four days) but it still doesn't look totally awful. I'll probably do something new in the next day or so.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Unbreakable Heart

Here's another red that I had apparently never swatched properly, Hard As Nails Unbreakable Heart:
It's in my destash box, which tells you that I don't think it's anything extraordinary, but on the other hand it's a perfectly lovely red and I'm only destashing it because I have a ton of reds and don't really wear them that much. I think this looks paler on my wheel swatch than I remember it being in real life.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


This is Zoya Zuza:
Zoya usually has pretty informative descriptions of their polishes, which is why I'm always quoting them. For Zuza it says, "a deep, saturated, oceanic turquoise with gold and silver metallic shimmer and a foil-like finish. A beachy, colorful, foil-like shade with the perfect balance between blue and green." I guess "oceanic turquoise" seems like it would apply. It's turquoise-ish, in a watery sort of way.

Since I don't really wear very pale colors I use these sort of medium colors as a substitute - light enough to feel like spring, but not light enough to be unflattering. (This was actually in a summer collection, I believe - Beach or Surf, maybe? - but I think it fits in with spring colors just fine, too.)

Added: a layering mani with Zuza as a base.

TBT: Hipster Chick

Chick Polish has been gone for a couple of years now, as far as I know, but they had some interestingly funky colors. This is Hipster Chick.
It's a cool pale green with little bits of glitter in it, not anything average at all.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Celeb City

This is Xtreme Wear Celeb City:
This is a pretty almost-chrome polish which I hardly ever wear because it's so very shiny. If you're thinking "this swatch doesn't look very shiny" well, that's because #15 is Celeb City, matte. (Here's a non-matte swatch.) And I had actually gotten as far as putting this in the destash box, because as I said, I just don't wear it, but I like it enough matte that I'm thinking about taking it out again.

(On the other hand, nothing in my destash box has actually gone anywhere yet, so it's not like this is a decision I'm in a hurry to make.)