It’s October now, and this time of year always taps into my right brain. Instead of using that creative energy only for costume-making, I’ll be posting lots of All Hallow’s Eve inspired nail art throughout the month, starting with this simple bat scene:

I chose Zoya Mira for the night sky. For the moon I swiped SpaRitual Eye of the Beholder over punch hole reinforcing stickers (sent by Holly from Madness and Polish Collide for half moon manis). And any opaque black polish will do for the bats, but I found SpaRitual Street Smart’s jelly formula particularly easy to control. I used dotting tools to place the centers of the bats, and then a small nail art brush to draw out the wings and ears.

If you can get your hands on bat-shaped nail art stickers that could save a lot of time. There’s also a bat stamp on Bundle Monster plate 213, which could give a tidier appearance.

Peace & love,

Posted in fall, Halloween, holidays, nail art, seasonal | 6 Comments

Diamond Cosmetics – Don’t Teal My Heart Away

A while back I won Anamaria’s Teal Toes Giveaway at Madness and Polish Collide. Yay! The prize was another awareness-raising polish, Don’t Teal My Heart Away from Diamond Cosmetics, so I thought I better show it to you before September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, completely passes by.

Don't Teal My Heart Away

Don’t Teal My Heart Away is a perfect autumn teal, equal parts blue and green. This is my first ever Diamond Cosmetics polish, and I am majorly impressed. The formula is buttery and opaque, and I can hardly believe it’s a two-dollar-and-fifty-cent polish. This is one coat!

Visit TealToes to learn more about their Ovarian Cancer Awareness campaign.

Diamond Cosmetics has been giving 25¢ to ovarian cancer research for each bottle of Don’t Teal My Heart Away sold.

Posted in Blue, Green, Teal, Teal Toes | 3 Comments

SpaRitual In Pink 2011 BCA Collection – Swatches & Review

Happy Pink Wednesday everybody! It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in a Pink Wednesday, but today it’s back with SpaRitual’s three polish In Pink Breast Cancer Awareness collection. This year 20% of proceeds from these polishes go to Cancer Schmancer, Fran Drescher’s organization which focuses efforts on early detection of cancer, as well as prevention.

BCA month is right around the corner, so it’s a good excuse to break out those neglected pinks in the back of your polish drawer. For me, pink polishes need something special going on, otherwise they end up on my MUA swap list or handed off to a friend. Luckily, the In Pink set has a lot of pizzazz, and I’m actually looking forward to wearing these beyond October.

SpaRitual Knowledge

Knowledge is a gritty pink glitter with a hefty amount of holo glitter thrown in and a lot of peachy warmth. The base liquid is very sheer pink, but it has great coverage at two coats. As you might imagine, removal is very messy. Glitter everywhere!!

SpaRitual Clarity

Three coats give you good coverage with Clarity, a heavy ice pink glitter with a clear base. Although you can probably spot some patches, I don’t think you’ll have this problem if you’re more patient than I was between applying coats.

SpaRitual Strength

Strength is more mature/less exciting than the other two but still quite festive. Along the same lines as Zoya Faye but pinker and a little less sparkly. It’s a smooth formula that is opaque at two coats.

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These seem like great gift polishes—unusual but wearable, and they show support for a good cause. My favorite of the bunch is Knowledge, which is fun alone, or as an accent on just the ring finger worn with another color.

SpaRitual polishes are vegan and big 4-free.

SpaRitual retails at $10 for .50 oz.

How do you feel about these? Anyone been looking forward to these or any other BCA collections?

Posted in Breast Cancer Awareness, collection review, collection swatches, fall, glitter, On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, Pink | Leave a comment

Nubar Polished Chic – Fall 2011 Collection Preview

When it comes to reading press releases, I try not to get my hopes up until I’ve seen bottles, or at least trusty swatches. Nubar’s Polished Chic collection preview has definitely peaked my interest though. Check it out:

This season, Nubar brings you eight new and enticing fashion forward colors of our premium carcinogen and cruelty free nail lacquer with the Polished Chic Collection.  Offering contemporary colors perfect for work, casual daytime wear, and even a night out, every woman can look to Nubar’s Polished Chic Collection to update her look.

Classic Camel – an updated buff creme
Faded Putty – a modern pale putty crème
Edgy Umber – a deep brown crème
Beguiling Carmine – a brick red crème
Vogue Vert – a contemporary light green crème
Mod Aqua – a light turquoise crème
Stylish Peacock – a perfect teal crème
Elegant Indigo – a sparkling blackened blue

Will Edgy Umber hold a candle to neutrals Marabout and Chiffon from last autumn’s Finest Silks collection? Could Beguiling Carmine be the perfect on-trend cinnamon red I’ve been hoping to find?  And both a mint green and an aquamarine in one collection? Well, that’s just fantastic.

The Polished Chic collection is now available at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SpaRitual Wilde – Swatches & Review

I’m pretty excited about this collection. And about my new lighting set up. You might notice the photos look different from past swatches. I got a photo tent and some daylight lamps, so I can stop chasing the sun from my windowsill, and hopefully take higher quality, color-accurate photos. Let me know what you think. Photography tips are always welcome.

On with the Wilde collection . . .

SpaRitual Running with Wolves

A deep copper metallic shimmer, Running with Wolves looks nearly black along the edges of the nails and glows in the middle. It makes me think of burnt caramel rather than a dirty penny. Highly recommended for those who have had trouble pulling off overly bright or orangey copper polishes. Rich, gorgeous and a bit spooky.

SpaRitual Spirit Child

Spirit Child is a cool, sparkling crimson. In the bottle it looks to have some fiery shimmer mixed in, but on the nail it translates into just a flash of warmer toned red every now and again. While it’s a lovely color, Spirit Child isn’t totally my scene.

SpaRitual Instinct

Instinct looked more interesting in the bottle than on the nail, missing the fuchsia reflections that flash from inside the bottle. It does have a wash of blue sparkle in the right light though. Instinct goes on watery and is the only polish of the collection requiring three coats to avoid bald spots at the base of the nails.

SpaRitual Rhythm of Life

Rhythm of Life is a transformer. Under bright light, it is a perfect sparkling emerald and inside it’s more of a mermaid green. Similarly to Spirit Child, if you have deeply rounded nail beds you may be lucky enough to see some teal-blue shimmer along the edges of your nail. Be forewarned Rhythm of Life left behind major stains after spending a week on my toes, so double up on the base coat for this one.

SpaRitual Howl

Howl just might be the new black. Sunlight will pick up the coppery micro shimmer, but in low light the shimmer gives the black base a soft espresso sheen. Much easier to wear than the standard black crème.

SpaRitual Sacred Ground

Sacred Ground is the crowning glory of the collection. Teaming with irregular shaped glitter—some silver, and some gold-lavender duochrome, it’s a unique, prettied up take on this fall’s graphite trend.  The finish reminds me of Zoya Julieanne, with glitter shifting from purple to gold in the blink of an eye.

Note: My top coat dulls the sparkle on Sacred Ground a bit, so it might be worth skipping that if you don’t mind the reduced wear time. You could also try “sandwiching” layers with your base coat.

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I’m glad SpaRitual put out such a gorgeous bold collection while most other brands seem to be pushing smokies and neutrals this season.

Sacred Ground is my absolute must-have out of the bunch, but Running with Wolves is also an unexpected stunner—luxurious and modern at the same time. Green fiends will appreciate Rhythm of Life’s vibrancy and versatility. And Howl is great for those looking for a fresh way to wear black polish.

SpaRitual polishes are vegan and big 4-free.

SpaRitual retails at $10 for .50 oz.

Who else is loving the Wilde collection polishes? How have you been feeling about the fall collections in general?

Posted in collection review, collection swatches, fall, SpaRitual | 6 Comments

Harry Potter Nail Art featuring the SpaRitual Wilde collection

Harry Potter nail art has been all over the polish blogs these past couple weeks in anticipation for the last movie. In case you missed them, here’s a roundup of my favorites:

♥A tribute to Fawkes and allegiance to Dumbledore’s Army by Zara at Never Unpolished.
♥Nicole at Glitta Gloves did a crackle mani for poor misunderstood Snape, and Kirsten did a lightning bolt themed one.
♥Elizabeth something different for each Hogwarts house, starting with Hufflepuff, at Life and Polish.
♥Kristyn at Paint that Nail features a couple of the series’ most loveable characters.
♥As for the mani by Deniz at Emerald Sparkled, well you just have to see it.
♥And same goes for The Daily Nail.

Now for mine. I used the SpaRitual’s new collection for fall, Wilde (full swatching this week), plus some others. I used tape to do all but the thumb where I used a small angled brush.

Thumb:  Nubar Gold Glitter & Silver Glitter over SpaRitual Instinct
Index:  SpaRitual Running with Wolves over Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm
Middle:  Zoya Richelle over SpaRitual Spirit Child
Ring:  SpaRitual Sacred Ground over SpaRitual Rhythm of Life
Pinky:  SpaRitual Howl over No-Miss Sun Gold

Who’s seen the final movie and what did you think? Are you sad that it’s all over, or does HP fanaticism never really end?

Posted in blog lovin', nail art | 5 Comments

SpaRitual Evolve – Swatches & Review

Amidst a slew of bold and bright collections, SpaRitual released a more subdued set for summer 2011. Evolve offers six great options for more conservative settings, like the office or a especially a wedding. The formula is amazing across the board, with only the palest, Driftwood, requiring three coats.

SpaRitual Driftwood

Generally, I am not a fan of white or nearly white polishes. While I can’t say Driftwood has completely won me over, I do think the glowy eggshell color is pretty. A barely there hint of peach means no lobster claws for pink toned polishers, but Driftwood seems like it’s meant to really be rocked by those with stronger gold or olive tones.

SpaRitual Sacred Sands

The demure Sacred Sands is a classic beige pink with a lot of warmth that could be a dough saving alternative to Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie.

SpaRitual Native Rock

To me Native Rock, a lilac gray taupe, is the ultimate go anywhere color. It can transform from frilly to chic and sophisticated to edgy. The brown element allows it to take on an earthy boho feel as well. Some of you may feel like you’ve seen a million incarnations of smokey pale purple polish, but SpaRitual has perfected it here, and the color is so well balanced it will flatter everyone.

SpaRitual Twig

Twig is a light latte color that looks warm is sunlight and reveals a slight wash of gray indoors. Very chic.

SpaRitual Pebble

Perfectly named Pebble looks like a pretty yet basic middle gray in the bottle. On the nail the slightest hint of blue comes through and makes it something really special. A little darker than the rest of the collection, Pebble will easily carry into fall.

SpaRitual Moss

I have an inkling that Moss is a dupe for Ancient Jade by Orly, SpaRitual’s sister brand (see Jasmine’s swatch at Colour Coated and let me know what you think). Regardless, Moss is my new favorite aquamarine polish. The color is rich but just subdued enough that it’s much more wearable than my overly pastel or nearly neon lacquers of a similar hue. Perfection.

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I’m happy with every polish from the Evolve collection, and the whole set wouldn’t be a bad investment for even the leanest collector. But if I’m picking favorites . . .  Native Rock is a major wardrobe staple. If you love grays then add the ultra flattering Pebble to your collection. And Moss is absolutely fantastic.

SpaRitual polishes are vegan and big 4-free.

SpaRitual retails at $10 for .50 oz.

What do you think about neutrals in the summer? Not the time, or a nice break from the more in your face colors of the season?

Posted in collection review, collection swatches, cremes, neutrals, pastels, SpaRitual | 6 Comments

Zoya Sunshine – Swatches & Review

Time to show you my swatches for the Zoya Sunshine collection, before their fall Smoke & Mirrors set premiers in a couple weeks. All these fall collection press releases are getting way ahead of me. July is just too early to be thinking about autumn, no?

Anyway, much like last summer’s Sparkle & Flash from Zoya, the bright cremes of Summertime, pair up with Sunshine, a collection of six more of those somewhere between foil and glass-flecked glitters that Zoya has mastered.

The formula on these is right in line with the Sparkle polishes, which means sheer colored bases that allow the oodles of glitter to shine through. Although the intense light reflection distracts from visible nail line, sticklers against VNL may still be dissatisfied. I went ahead and used three coats for all of these polishes for consistency, even though the reds, Kimmy and Reva, didn’t necessarily need it.

Zoya Tanzy

The sheerest of the bunch, Tanzy, is perhaps the truest to the collection’s name. Doesn’t that just look like sunshine in a bottle? Or maybe orange juice – packed with glitter instead of pulp. Yum.

Zoya Rica

Rica has a grapefruit pink base, with orange and gold glitter throughout. Because of the varied colors, Rica seems the most lively of the bunch to me – shifting from an orange to pinky coral as your lighting situation changes.

Zoya Kimmy

I’m not in love with Kimmy. I think it would better on those with warm toned skin. Even so, while she contains some of that gold glitter that ties this collection together, most of the glitter matches Kimmy‘s fiery red base. It blends in and makes the color variation less impressive on this polish than the rest.

Zoya Reva

Reva is a sort of raspberry, sometimes pink and sometimes red. It’s definitely pretty, but I can’t help feeling it has a bit of a “high maintenance” look to it. As you can see, Reva also has mostly matching glitter, but steps it up with a bit more gold than Kimmy.

Zoya Faye

Here is the much adored Faye. Gold and copper glitter packed into a contrasting thistle purple base makes this one magical. Goes on a bit sheer, but really reflects the light. Most of the time you can barely see the purple past all the sparkle. If I did the makeup for production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Faye would be on all the fairies’ nails.

Zoya Apple

Apple is gorgeous. She’s like a lighter, golden sister to Ivanka, which is both a compliment and a complaint. Although Apple is awesome, she’s not as awesome as her older sister, and anytime I want my nails slathered in green glitter, I’ll be reaching for Ivanka. I wish Apple had something more to set her apart, because as is, the polish feels like a bit of a redundancy.

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Number one pick for me is Rica, Faye in second, and Tanzy takes the bronze. If you’ve hit the bottom of a bottle of Ivanka, Apple is worth a try.

Regardless of which colors pull you in, all these polishes apply wonderfully. I think the low lacquer to glitter ratio gives them an extra fast dry time, which is perfect for a summer pedicure in a hurry.

Zoya polishes are vegan, big 4-free, and do not contain Camphor.

Zoya retails at $8 for .50 oz.
The full six piece Sunshine collection retails for $48.

Which Sunshine polishes get your approval? How do you think they stack up to the 2010 Sparkle collection? And are you also holding on to summer and its bright colors for dear life?

Posted in collection review, collection swatches, sparkles, summer, Zoya | 2 Comments

Zoya Summertime – Swatches & Review

A while back I mentioned that Zoya had a few surprises this summer, the first of which being new matte polishes for summer. The second thing I didn’t expect was to fall in love with this Summertime collection. I figured they’d just be nice cremes to go along the sparkly Sunshine collection, but these polishes won’t play second fiddle, and I’ve been wearing them almost nonstop for the past two months.

Although there are dupes for most of these (see comparisons at Let Them Have Polish), I really love the feeling of collection as a whole. The colors bring to mind humid and magical summer nights. If you don’t already own their dupes and you’re a fan of the Zoya formula like I am, you should definitely get your hands on these – especially while their Color Lock promotion is happening.

Zoya Tamsen

So the third surprise from Zoya for me was Tamsen. I was the least excited about this polish when I place my order, mostly because I wouldn’t think of “brick red” as a great summer color. But really, I would call it more of a “poppy” – which I love! This is my top pick for the collection.

Zoya Sooki

Red number two is Sooki, a bright, notice-me color that looks like little maraschino cherries on your finger tips. Very cute, but my least worn of the bunch. And while it applies effortlessly, as you can see there is some VNL at two coats.

Zoya Areej

I showed you Areej before on a Pink Wednesday. Now, pinks are never my go to, but I like having this around. It has depth that makes it seem less frilly, and it’s a universally flattering hue.

Zoya Kieko

My second favorite of the collection is Kieko. It seems to bring out the almost non-existent warmth in my skin tone, which makes me think it would play up a tan nicely if you have one. It appears more vivid in person and has a gorgeous glossy finish.

Zoya Mira

Mira, another pretty purple, is heavy on the blue tones. It makes an awesome pedicure in particular.

Zoya Breezi

Breezi is a unique just slightly tealed blue. It’s a really fun color, but very attention-grabbing, and can look a little too youthful paired with the wrong outfit.

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The formula on every polish in this collection is awesome. Tamsen and Kieko get my highest recommendation. And I don’t care how many reds you have, you still need Tamsen.

Mira comes in a close third, then Areej. Breezi is really cute if you’re daring enough. Sooki is the only one I feel is just okay.

Zoya polishes are vegan, big 4-free, and do not contain Camphor.

Zoya retails at $8 for .50 oz.
The full six piece Summertime collection retails for $48.

Now that summer is officially here, are you wearing more brights? Who else loves breaking out the sandals and showing off your pedis?

Posted in collection review, collection swatches, cremes, summer, Zoya | 1 Comment

Pink Wednesdays return with Zoya Areej

Hello dahlings! I’ve been loving Zoya recently, and today I have a pink from their new Summertime collection, Areej.

Zoya Areej

I’ll have the rest of the collection up soon. In the meantime, everyone take care of yourselves!

Posted in On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, Pink, Zoya | 3 Comments