Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zoya Feel Collection Round-Up!

The Zoya Feel Collection was supposed to be a collection of six universally flattering winter neutrals in a creme finish. Luckily for the consumer, this isn't just a collection of beige, taupe and gray polishes. We have range of gorgeous neutrals to choose from and I think Zoya definitely succeeded to creating a collection of neutrals that can be worn anytime throughout the year and particularly from winter to spring. I really like that we got some purple and blue in this collection, because these colors aren't usually considered neutral in any sense of the word.

The formulas on these polishes were generally ok, though some seemed runnier than others. In general, these polishes went on a little streaky in the first coat, but then evened out nicely the second coat. I was pretty satisfied with these polishes overall-- maybe not the easiest to deal with, but certainly not as troublesome as they could be. I love how creamy and cozy they look.







I actually love all of these, but probably my favorite is Kristen, solely for the blue color. But really, all these polishes are great in their own way. I like each of them! Even though I preferentially do my manicures in bright, bold colors there is some part of my that just loves the way a good neutral polish looks. Anybody else out there have a favorite from this collection?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter Nails

So, Easter is now less than two weeks away. And I need to figure out my nails! Easter's a big deal in my family, and this year I'm hosting Easter brunch for my sister, her boyfriend and my uncle now that my parents aren't in town anymore. My coworkers tease me about being the only person they know who still buys an Easter outfit, but... I love having an excuse to buy some cute spring clothes (and shoes)!

Here's my Easter dress:
Image: Nordstrom

And my shoes:
Image: Anne Klein

So now what the heck do I put on my nails? I thought about playing with the colors that are already on the dress-- pink and orange, and I went for something complimentary in yellow and then some neutrals.


From left to right they are: Julep Cameron, Sephor by OPI Access 24/7, Zoya Areej, and Cult Nails Devious Nature


I don't have many oranges that I thought would be appropriate and to be honest I'm not really sold on any of these either. I have Julep Alicia, Urban Outfitters Orange 6 and Orange 7, and Julep Hayden.


For yellow I have the following: RBL Square Pants, Julep Blake, China Glaze Lemon Fizz, RBL Yellow Fever, Chine Glaze Solar Power, and Cult Nails Feel Me Up.


And... our neutrals! Essie Barefoot & Topless, RBL Sheer Nude, Essie Sand Tropez, RBL Jane, China Glaze Fast Track  and Knotty.

I suppose I could also go for a light blue (maybe on my toes). Any suggestions? I had some grandiose ideas about potentially doing some colorblocking but that might be too much. Right now my preference is probably for a pink, a yellow, or a neutral-- though I'm pretty even on which I'd prefer. I think I've ruled out orange (maybe) just because I'm already wearing orange shoes and it look weird (though perhaps not with a more peachy color). It's just choosing which shade to wear!

Zoya Megan

Tonight's polish is the last polish from Zoya's Feel Collection is Megan. Zoya describes as a " a full coverage, taupe gray cream. An ideal winter neutral nail polish color that covers fully in 2 coats." Traditionally, most of us think of taupe of a greyish brown, but according to Wikipedia, taupe encompasses a wide range of colors, including pink and lavender. Which... is a little weird, but whatever. I probably wouldn't have used taupe in the description, as to my eyes (and camera) Megan comes across as mostly a  purplish gray (but I'm no color expert). To my eyes, Megan is more purple than Kendal, and both as these are not as gray as Carey. I tried to photograph these three together to show you the gradient, but had difficulties capturing them accurately. I 'll do a round-up tomorrow and compare them.

Megan was similar in terms of formula to the other polishes from the Feel Collection. It was a little streaky in the first coat, but evened out and was opaque in just two coats. There were indeed a few angles where I could see the taupe aspects of this polish, but my camera only captured the purple. Again, I didn't wear a top coat in these pictures.

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

I have no idea why my natural light pictures lean so blue, but rest assured, Megan is purple not blue. This was kind of a weird polish (in terms of color) but I still like it. I'm not sure if it would be flattering on everyone, but I find it very pretty.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Zoya Kristen

Tonight's polish is Zoya Kristen. I love this polish! Zoya describes Kristen as a "gull gray nail polish with a mild bluish hue. An ideal cool neutral color that covers fully opaque in 2 coats." At first glance, this description seems way, way off. Kristen doesn't have a mild bluish hue-- it has a predominant blue hue. However, there were certain lights and angles where I could see why they used "gull gray" as a descriptor-- but let's be honest: Kristen is an awesome blue neutral polish.

I found the formula on Kristen to be a little thick-- you can see on my middle finger that the polish is a little gloppy, though I also think that's because I didn't do a very good job of applying it. I only needed two coats to get full coverage, and again, I am not wearing a top coat in these pictures. My pictures also make Kristen seem a lot brighter than it actually is. While the polish is definitely blue, it has a dusty gray quality to it and isn't a bright blue, hence why it works as a neutral polish.

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

Kristen is a fantastic polish and definitely my favorite from the Feel Collection. It looks great on your fingers! And even though it's blue, it works as a great "non-traditional" neutral.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Zoya Kennedy

Tonight's polish is Zoya Kennedy, another polish from the Feel Collection. Zoya describes Kennedy as a "full coverage, pale, french beige cream. An ideal cool neutral color that covers fully opaque in 2 coats." I'm not exactly sure what "french beige" is, but I can only assume this relates to the polish's pink tone, similar to (though obviously opaque) a sheer pink used for a french manicure. I guess, anyway!

The formula on Kennedy was pretty good. I found it to be a little runny, similar to Avery, and I had a little bit of pooling near my cuticles. Sadly, I completely forgot to remember write down how many coats I needed. I get the feeling I actually needed three, in the end, to get rid of streaks. I honestly can't remember. It's still nice. I'm not sure if Kennedy is necessarily my color-- it might be a little too cool and I felt like it gave me "dead fingers", which isn't flattering. However, I haven't tried wearing this as a full manicure, so it might be better the second time I wear it.

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

Another nice neutral from this collection!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Zoya Kendal

Today's polish is Zoya Kendal, yet another polish from Zoya's Feel Collection. Zoya describes Kendal as a "lavender, beige cream nail polish shade. An ideal winter neutral nail polish color that covers fully in 2 coats." While I can't call this beige (except it's also a neutral... so it's also beige? I'm confused) it's definitely lavender, and even perhaps slightly grey-- though definitely mostly lavender.

 Kendal had a decent formula, though not entirely without problems. I found the first coat to be a little streaky, but a second coat evened everything out and fixed all the problems with streaks-- I have used two coats in my pictures below. Like the two other polishes I've already shown from the Feel Collection, I'm not wearing a top coat over Kendal here.
Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

I wore Kendal to a work conference recently and it was perfectly appropriate-- it didn't call any undue attention to my nails but they looked nice and professional. Hard to go wrong there! It also wore very well-- I didn't have any issues with chipping until the morning we left, but I had worn the manicure a full five days at that point. I really like Kendal and I like the idea of a neutral that's not pink or beige.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Zoya Carey

Tonight's polish is Zoya Carey, another polish from Zoya's Feel Collection. Zoya calls Carey a "periwinkle gray. An ideal cool neutral color that covers fully opaque in 2 coats." Personally, I don't get periwinkle from this polish at all, just gray. Especially when compared to the two other polishes in this collection that have purple leaning tendencies (you'll see them later!), Carey doesn't seem to lean purple at all... just a middle-of-the-road gray. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing-- I just feel the description is not quite accurate. Except now I look at my pictures and it does look there is some purple in there! Oh well. It definitely looks more gray in real life.

Carey was pretty good in terms of formula and I had no problems when I applied her. She was very well pigmented and almost went on perfectly in one coat. I used two coats here and no top coat for my pictures below.

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

I am not sure why this last picture looks so blue/purple. I feel like the flash/artificial light pictures are more color accurate. Carey is a great grey creme polish and I loved how easy it was to apply!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zoya Avery

Ok, you can see how far behind I am-- today I am going to start reviewing the Feel Collection from Zoya. This was a collection of six neutral polishes that Zoya released this past November. The idea was that they were supposed to be full coverage, creamy neutrals that would be flattering for everyone. Even though these were released at the beginning of winter, they are all very soft and wearable all year around, so I don't think it's too bad that we're now into spring and I'm finally getting them on the blog.

Avery is described by Zoya as a "full coverage, blond-beige cream. An ideal cool neutral color that covers fully opaque in 2 coats." Blonde-beige is a good description, as Avery is a slightly yellow leaning beige. You can see in my pictures that Avery is pretty close to my skin color, at least in some lighting conditions.

I found Avery to be a little runny in terms of formula, but it applied fairly well. It was a little streaky in the first coat, but a light touch and another coat gave me good opaque coverage and no streaks. Avery also dried to nice shine-- I am not wearing a top coat in the pictures below.

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

I think Avery is a really nice neutral-- I am trying to decide if it's too yellow for my skin but even if it is, I really like this polish and can definitely see myself wearing it in the future. Sometimes you just crave a neutral, you know?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Julep Oscar

Lastly, we have the crown of Julep's Oscar Collection - Oscar himself! Fittingly for a polish named after a little golden statue, Oscar is sparkly round gold glitter suspended in a clear base. There's really not that much else to say!

I used two coats of Oscar in my pictures below and you can see it's mostly opaque in two coats. It does get a little thin at the tips of my nails, but this could probably be remedied with with a third coat or with strategic glitter placement. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the coverage-- I expected to be a lot less dense. Also surprising was the fact that Oscar dried fairly smooth (I was expecting it to be bumpy) and I actually didn't use a top coat in my pictures. If I was going to wear this as a full manicure I would definitely add a layer or two of top coat, but it was impressive that I felt I didn't need to add a top coat for these pictures!

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

Oscar isn't a wholly original glitter polish, but it was easy to work with and really nice for what it is. If you are looking for a straight up gold glitter polish, this is a good option (plus, I have to say I don't know of any other gold glitter polishes, though I'm sure they exist)! It's a little pricey at $14 a bottle, but if you are a Julep Maven you get 20% off and Julep seems to be having promos on a regular basis, so you may be able to get a bottle at a discounted price.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Julep Elizabeth

Today I have another polish from the Julep Oscar Collection- Elizabeth. I am guessing that this particular polish is named after the late, great Elizabeth Taylor, who won two Academy Awards. She's also considered one of the best known actresses of all time, so it makes sense to name a polish after her.

Julep describes Elizabeth as  a "midnight blue with a hint of shimmer" and I can also imagine that the color of Elizabeth was inspired by Taylor's famous eyes. This is a gorgeous deep blue polish that is chock full of blue and pink shimmer. It's very dark and has the tendency to look black inside, but you can definitely tell it's blue outside. The formula on Elizabeth was really nice and the polish is dark enough that if there were any issues with streaking it was hard to tell. I only used one coat in the pictures below, though I think that two might be better to prevent any patchiness. The shimmer was also pretty subtle on the nail, but still there.

Artificial light with flash:

Artificial light:

Natural light - shade:

This is a really pretty blue. I'm not thrilled with my pictures-- I had a tough time capturing Elizabeth, but I think you can see the shimmer pretty well. I'm curious to see how Elizabeth compares to OPI Russian Navy, which is a similar color/shimmer and one of my favorites.