Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rach Redux: Zoya Kimmy

I know the Zoya exchange is over, but I just wanted to show you this polish because I felt it deserved a second shot. See, over a year ago, I blogged Zoya Kimmy and I HATED it. Those pictures were not great -- I could link you to those pics, but damn, they were heinous -- plus you could tell I wasn't feeling it. But I wore it again a few weekends ago. I had MAJOR FEELS this time, enough to rescue Kimmy from my purge box and attempt Swatch Sesh Numero Dos.

As you're about to see, I had more success this time around in terms of clarity, although the color is still a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit off. Kimmy is one of those polishes you HAVE to see in person, because so few photos on the internet do it justice. It's pretty insane. If you love reds, you're going to need this.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

Soooooooooooo, yeahhhhhh. 10 pictures. That's how you know how much I liked something, and/or how much of a PITA it was to photograph. Seriously, though, it's stunning in person.

Kimmy is a warm red with golden shimmer in Zoya's signature foil/glass fleck finish. (No other brand does this finish as well as Zoya, IMHO.) It's opaque in two coats and the polish goes exactly where you put it. I didn't really have problems with staining (I doubled up on base coat), although I did have quite a bit of sparkle that needed a good scrub to remove from my skin.

Kimmy is from Zoya's Sunshine collection, circa 2011, and goes for $9 (if you missed it this time, wait until the next promo ... I'm sure there'll be one when this year's summer collection is released officially). The only other Sunshine polish I have is Apple, and I still have three untried Summertime polishes (Areej, Kieko, and Breezi), so perhaps they'll make an appearance this summer. :)

This is it for Zoya April on Stuff. I hope you enjoyed them! While I didn't get to blog as many Zoyas as I'd wanted to, 7 hardly is a number for me to sneeze at. (Last year, I think I did 8.) I'm sure I'll blog more of them this summer. :) It seems that you guys want to see some butter LONDON for May, so that's on tap, as well as a couple of the Spider-Man Electric Chromes and other 2014 spring/summer releases. After two days of nonstop rainfall, I'm really feeling these seasonal brights (to be fair, when am I not?), so I'm excited to post some here.

I think this post also will be all for me this week, so thank you for reading! Enjoy the rest of your week, and I'll see you in May. :)

P.S. I got Lauren, Rocky, Thandie, Rikki, Solange, and Sunshine in my Zoya exchange order. I would have gotten more, but I didn't think I would have enough money left for Old 97's concert tickets or new sandals (such.a.nightmare.), so something had to give. Next time!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Worthy of a palace: Zoya Goldie

Friday, at last! There were a couple of points this week that had me doubtful I would make it -- namely, my parents completely freaking me out and suggesting that I might maybe PERHAPS have whooping cough (ohmygod.) (I went and got a Tdap booster shot yesterday *just in case*) -- so yeah, I'm over it. Additionally, it was a very sad, somber week at work, and I'm looking forward to some frivolity this weekend.

The frivolity starts with this polish. (Shhhh, I'm actually not wearing it this weekend ... I actually have no idea what I'm wearing this weekend ...) Anyway, if you've been reading my blog for the last two summers, then you know about my weakness for gold polishes. As it happens, Zoya has made some seriously amazing golds. But I'll be honest: Because of its finish, I'm not sure if Zoya Goldie will make your heart go pitter-patter. Feeling adventurous, I ordered my bottle in the 2012 Zoya exchange; from the minute I saw Goldie, I knew I would love it.

Did you guys ever read Bridge to Terabithia when you were in grade school? (Or maybe you watched the movie -- which, let me say, Zooey Deschanel as Ms. Edmunds = PERFECT. She should do more stuff like that, IMHO.) In one chapter, Jess goes over to his new friend Leslie's house to help her and her parents paint their new living room a brilliant shade of gold. When the sun sets, they sit and marvel as the sunlight dapples over the golden walls, which Leslie says is worthy of a palace.

Wow, sorry. I did not mean for that to sound like an RBL press release. (No shade! Okay, maybe a little.) My point is, I always thought that gold would be an incredible color. Fast forward to me pulling Zoya Goldie out of my exchange box in 2012 and being waaaaaaaaay too excited because it is, to me, the Golden Room in a polish.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

What do you think, would Goldie be worthy of a palace? I don't know that I would paint my living room in this -- I'd probably do gold accents, if anything -- but I LOVE it. As Scrangie said, this color is not for the faint of heart, while Michelle at ALU said there is no middle of the road with this polish, because you either love it or hate it. They were not kidding! As gold polishes go, I don't think I have anything like this. The closest thing I can think of is the original a-england Holy Grail, which is similar in finish, only in a cooler yellow. Goldie leans quite warm. You know, I bet it would look sick with a tan.

Again, I can see how people might not care for its finish. I wouldn't say it's frosty or pearly, but it's in a neighboring area. And when you put it on, you're gonna need three coats. It seems sheer on the first coat, but it builds up to opacity. If you're careful, you won't have brushstrokes. Dry time was good with Wicked Fast.

Goldie is from Zoya's Ooh La La collection from Summer '09, which gave us two of my other favorite Zoyas, Tallulah and Midori. Without a promo, it's $9 -- I couldn't honestly recommend that you buy it at full retail, but at $4.50, it's certainly worth a try!

I'll wait until Sunday night to place my Zoya order and make any final decisions. (Thank you to those of you who left comments in my last post with suggestions!) But if you placed your Zoya exchange orders already, what did you get? If you haven't, would you consider Goldie, or is it too much for you? --Ugh, I love gold so much. If I ever get married, you better believe it will be EVERYWHERE, that's how much I love it. (My alma mater's colors are black and gold, yay!) I can't wait to share more awesome gold polishes on this blog in the coming weeks of summer!

Speaking of sharing and blog posts: Y'all, I'm still so bummed I was unable to post more Zoya polishes this month! Apparently my immune system had other ideas about to how to fill my time. :/ Hopefully, though, you've liked what I've been able to share with you! Thank you for reading, and thank you for your patience. It's appreciated! I should be back at full speed shortly -- just give me a few more days.

P.S. I don't have pertussis. Yay!

P.P.S. Aisha Tyler does an apologia bit at the end of her "Girl on Guy" podcast. In that spirit, I am sorry if you have never read Bridge to Terabithia (do it! It's wonderful). I'm sorry I mentioned Zooey Deschanel if you hate her (I like her in small doses; her role in the "Bridge to Terabithia" film was a more grown-up take on her usual MPDG. The book took place in the '70s, and although the movie was set in modern day, ZD easily could have played Ms. Edmunds if the movie also had been set in the '70s). Lastly, I am sorry that I am not entirely sorry about the RBL dig in this post -- I really don't need a trailer to sell me a nail polish. If it's good or I'm curious enough and I can afford it, I'll get it. That is all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Zoya Dhara (PIXIEDUST!!!)

Happy hump day, ladies. Anyone made any executive decisions re: your Zoya exchange carts? Remember, PixieDust shades are half off this year -- and there are so many killer ones to choose from! In case you're having trouble finding something to add to your cart, I have another suggestion for you today. ;)

I wasn't tempted by Zoya's first batch of Pixies that were released last spring, but the summer and fall ones were more my speed. Oh mah gawd, the fall Pixies ... While I knew I NEEDED all of them, limited edition holiday polishes were a higher priority, so I was elated when I eventually lucked into four of the fall Pixies on clearance at Ulta. This was either at the end of December or at the beginning of January, I don't recall exactly, but I scored Arabella, Carter, and Chita in one trip and found Dhara a week later.

I love orange, I love Zoya, and I love textures, so you'd better believe I knew I was adding Dhara to my collection as soon as I saw the PR images.

Three coats.

This polish is JUST. TOO. GORGEOUS.

Dhara is the second stab at an orange PixieDust shade, as Zoya released Beatrix in their summer Pixie collection. Beatrix is a lighter, more tangerine orange, while Dhara is more of a summer-to-fall transition shade of orange. I think the official description of Dhara uses the words "fiery" and "copper." Fiery, YES. Copper, not really, but perhaps a little when compared to Beatrix.  I think if Zoya Amy were a PixieDust, it would be Dhara. (And you know how much I loved Amy ...)

Everything about Dhara was perfect, including its formula and application. I always wait a minute or two between coats when using textures to make sure each coat is completely dry; I wouldn't have had to wait too long with Dhara, but I kept getting distracted by my "Chrisley Knows Best" marathon (don't judge me! Or judge away, it's all good. #classnotass). This is opaque in two coats -- I'm sure by now you know I only use three out of habit. ;) I haven't done a wear test with this, but textures generally last a work week on me.

Dhara usually goes for $10 on the Zoya/Art of Beauty site, but scoop it up for $5 this week! It's crazy beautiful, and I can't wait to actually wear it as a full mani.

What do you think? Will you be putting Dhara (or any of the other PixieDusts) in your Zoya cart? Here's what I'm getting, for sure:
  • Lauren
  • Sunshine
  • Solange
  • Rikki
  • Rocky
  • Thandie

OTOH, here's what I'm debating, i.e., the shades I feel that I do not need right this minute. Any input you have would be appreciated until Thursday night, so please advise!
  • Taylor
  • Chantal
  • Beatrix
  • LC
  • Seraphina
  • Cassedy
  • Tomoko
  • Chyna

I should be back on Friday with one more post from the ~reserves~. Until then, thank you for stopping by (and happy shopping)!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Skinny Dipping (With Friends): Zoya Kennedy

Did you guys have a good Easter? My aunt and I went out to lunch, then she came over to my place and we watched "Frozen." So it was a good day. (Considering what goes down in that movie, what I'm about to say is going to sound so effed up ... but the more I watch it, the more the king makes me laugh -- the voice actor also voiced more than a few memorable "Futurama" secondary characters and I CANNOT. STOP. VISUALIZING THEM.)

Anyway, Skinny Dipping. True story, Anna and I very nearly forgot this was even happening today. Merp.

My original plan for April was to push Zoya on you in anticipation of the Zoya exchange, which begins today! (See this for more details.) Zoya's put out many wonderful nude polishes over the past few years, and being that I own quite a few, I wasn't sure at first which one I should blog for this Skinny Dipping installment. But I decided to give Kennedy a moment, given my bad luck with shades that begin with the letter K.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

Well, this is one K shade I'll happily endorse.

Kennedy is rather heavy on the pink tones, isn't it? I wasn't certain if it was going to look good on me; in reality, my skin is a lot more yellow than it appears in these swatches and yet ... I didn't hate it. I don't think I will ever hate a nude as much as I hated what I call The Four Horsemen.* I would say that Kennedy is probably the most pink-tinged nude I will let myself wear -- any more pink, and it will (1) look terrible, to the point where (2) I might as well let myself wear pink. But I really, really liked it a lot. Even better, Kennedy (supposedly) is very close to OPI My Very First Knockwurst, a polish I have been coveting for a while.

I had no problems with formula or application. If memory serves correctly, Steff tried it and was not pleased with her bottle's, but I didn't find mine to be bad at all. I did need three coats for everything to even out; dry time was speedy, as always, with Wicked Fast.

Kennedy was part of the Feel collection that was released either in late 2011 or early 2012 (I don't remember seeing it in person until early 2012). In any case, my guess is that the Feel collection was released after the success of Zoya's Touch collection in the early summer of 2011. I've noticed Zoya tends to put out a nude collection between the holiday collection and the official spring collection, and although I don't recall them doing one for 2013, Cho and Farah DID make it into the official spring collection that year.

I digress. But now you know how much attention I pay to Zoya's nude shades! I have Chantal and Taylor from this year's Naturel collection in my Zoya exchange cart ... I'm not sure what I'll actually pull the trigger on when I do it for real on Thursday night, so we'll see. I have a couple things from last year's summer collection in there, and a couple of PixieDusts I missed. Also, you have no idea how happy it makes me that PixieDust shades are included in the exchange this year! A girl can score only so many on clearance at Ulta. ;)

Any thoughts on Kennedy? Do you like pink-tinged nudes? Most importantly, what's going in your Zoya exchange carts? (I've actually had my reject polishes ready to go for a while -- all I have to do is bubble wrap them after I place my order!) If you gave up buying nail polish for Lent (you go, Ali!), then this exchange is one hell of a way to get back into the game. Oh, and stop by Anna's blog to see what nude polish she has in store for today. For the first time in forever,*** neither of us know what the other is blogging!

Thanks for reading! I hope I can get at least two more posts up this week, but don't be surprised if it doesn't happen. I feel like I've been a terrible blogger lately. Here's the thing, though. When I got that stomach bug + cold back in March, I powered through it. When I got food poisoning at the beginning of this month, I powered through it. So I guess it makes sense that when spring and the subsequent allergies from hell came knocking, I had nothing left to give. Can you imagine what I'm going to be like if I ever get knocked up? Hooooooooly shit.** Just know that I am feeling like a functional human being again, and that I will do what I can to make sure May isn't entirely dead space. :)

* The Four Horsemen of the Nude Polish-pocalypse: (1) OPI Barefoot in Barcelona, (2) Sally Hansen CSM Malt, (3) Zoya Cho, and (4) FingerPaints Bare No Secrets.
** I am such a dramatic sick person. Every phone call to my boyfriend starts with "I'm dying," or, if I have a cold, "I'B DYIG."
*** "Frozen" reference, BOOYAH.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Zoya Sarah (a.k.a. your "Orphan Black" season 2 reminder post)

Long time, no post. These allergies have had me feeling like shit, you guys. But consider this (very late) post your reminder that the second season of BBC America's "Orphan Black" airs tonight at 9/8c.

I could write a blog post singing the praises of lead actress Tatiana Maslany, but I wouldn't have anything to say that you would not have already heard, sooooooooo ... here are some sad swatches of Zoya Sarah. Much like Sarah Manning, Zoya Sarah is very tricky to capture.

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

SO HARD to capture. This looks sorta berry, but I swear to you that Sarah actually is a very rich, lush red. It was part of Zoya's 2010 holiday collection (Fire and Ice), so it truly does have a bit of a cool, sorta velvety holiday red feel. It seems a little rich for this time of year, but it's gorgeous. If Sarah had been a shimmer, it wouldn't be all that unique, so I love that it boasts the foil/glass fleck finish that Zoya does so wonderfully. If Sarah looks a little pink in my photos, it's probably because the camera only would pick up the reflective sparkle.

I had no issues with formula or application. You can get it opaque in two coats; I just added a third because of habit. I have to note that Sarah looks different at two coats from the way it looks at three coats ... if anything, it appears to be a slightly warmer red, but I think I'm just splitting hairs at this point. It dried quickly with Cult Nails Wicked Fast, and I had no chipping or tip wear in the three days I wore this polish. It didn't stain my nails, although the sparkles are a little hard to remove (but nowhere near as hard to remove as some glitterbombs).

If you're interested in Sarah, it usually goes for $9 on the Art of Beauty site. However, the annual Zoya exchange promo starts this week, so you can buy it for half the price, and you can wear it while you're trying to decide which "Orphan Black" clone you are. According to this Zimbio quiz, I'm Sarah ... but Sarah would never wear this polish. Zoya Sarah strikes me as more of a Katja Obinger shade, tbh.

Confession: My favorite clone is Alison for so many reasons I cannot even begin to list here, but especially because I love the way she interacts with my favorite non-clone character, Felix.

Any other #cloneclub members in the house? Who's been your favorite guest star? Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing Michiel Huisman this season ... I couldn't get into him on "Treme," but on "Nashville"? WHOOBOY. I wanted to climb that like Mount Everest. I'm also looking forward to more Felix, and I hope we can find out more about Mrs. S! Oh, and I wonder if we'll get more of Vic (the dick) and I would realllllllly like it if Art got more screen time. I rewatched Season One recently, and I don't know if it was the cough medicine, but I think Art is an interesting character and he is a good foil for Sarah. Certainly he's a lot more interesting than Paul, even if his character has a completely different function.

Anyway, enjoy tonight's premiere! Oh, and happy Easter, to those of you who celebrate. I hope I can get back on track blogging in the coming weeks -- I wanted to do more, but I simply ran out of steam, as can happen when you're sick. Let's see how it goes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Zoya Raven + Revlon 1000 Volts

I feel like I've been saying this forever, but I got sick the morning after the Weezer concert (spring, I want to love you, but dem allergies, GODDAMN). Like, it-is-basically-a-miracle-that-I-went-to-see-"Winter Soldier"-and-went-to-work-for-3-days sick. I'm behind on blog stuff, so this post got moved up for today because I wanted to post something.

And I know, I know, black ... for spring? Normally, I'd agree with you, only I've been seeing black manicures everywhere -- on women at work, on random bloggers, on women at the grocery store -- and I was starting to wonder if there was a memo I wasn't getting. But I didn't want to wear a true black creme, and I didn't want to try my new bottle of OPI 4 in the Morning, so Zoya Raven won out.

Raven looks like a black creme in dull and low light, but sometimes, you can coax out the fine silver shimmer and you get this:

Three coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

Either way, I'm really into this polish. According to Janice, Raven is a dupe for Chanel Black Satin (hey look, Scrangie says so, too ... it's basically canon); Raven is superior as far as both cost and formula are concerned. I don't own the Chanel, but I have to agree -- I will take a $9 polish with a great formula over a $27 one that's iffy. (I must admit I prefer Dior polish to Chanel ... but that's not really the point here. Also: Remember when Zoya was $6?)

Raven's formula was typical of most Zoya cremes and shimmers, which is to say that although it might seem a little thicker than OPI/China Glaze/Orly/Essie, it's still very easy to work with. (I think this might be a resin thing? This happens to me sometimes with RBL shimmers.) Two coats are all you need for opacity, but I used three. Dry time was fast with my favorite Zoya top coat, Cult Nails Wicked Fast. I wore Raven on its own for four? five? days and I was completely smitten with it.

If you want this polish, it's $9 on the Zoya site, but I'd advise waiting for the Zoya Exchange so you can get it for half that. I cannot recommend it enough. If you are looking for a new black polish to add to your stash, get Raven. If you are too apprehensive about wearing a glossy black creme and you want a little somethin' extra, get Raven. If you do not want to pay for Chanel Black Satin, get Raven. If you missed out on the discontinued RBL Iconoclast, get Raven. (Note: Raven's shimmer is silver; Iconoclast's shimmer contained green and pink.)

Okay, so you know I think Raven is pretty great.

But you know what else is great? The new Revlon Electric Chromes, a.k.a. the Spider-Man 2 tie-in polishes, that's what. They should be widely available now, but I didn't find them immediately when they first came out, and I was so afraid I would miss them that I asked Anna if she could clean out her Meijer's display for me. She was a dear and was able to get me four colors, including 1000 Volts, which Steff blogged last week.

When T at LacqLustre swatched the Electric Chromes, she added some nail wheel swatches of those polishes over black to showcase the duochrome. I thought Gwen's Crush, Electrified Web, and 1000 Volts looked the most interesting over black, so I decided to try 1000 Volts over Raven. Shown below are 2 coats of 1000 Volts.

I tried to capture some of the green under the OttLite:

Over black, 1000 Volts reminded me A LOT of Peridot and its Peridupes, none of which I own. I had Peridot for a hot second until I realized I hated it on me, so I swapped it. Y'all, it is INSANE how much I love 1000 Volts over black. IIRC, Peridot was a straight up metallic chrome, so it looked kind of flat; the difference with 1000 Volts (and the rest of the Electric Chromes) is that it has more sparkle and glass fleck packed into its finish, which completely changes everything. I don't know if that made any sense to you, but I am all about it! Let's hope 1000 Volts looks as nice on its own as it does here over Raven ... I guess we'll find out next month. :)

I'm pretty interested to know what you guys think about Zoya Raven and/or this layering experiment. Did you get any of the Spidey polishes? What are your favorite black polishes? Is there a particular color you've been seeing a lot lately on others that you like?

Oh, and speaking of Ravens, obligatory:

I *think* Raven was throwing shade at Nicole Paige Brooks. (But let's be real, if you're reading this blog, you probably already read a bajillion other nail blogs and we all can agree that acrylic nails with white french tips are nope nope nope!) Raven was one of my faves from that season.

Moving on to a different Raven:

(source? Please tell me if it's yours!)

This .gif FTMFW. The first time I saw it was on ONTD right after "First Class" came out and I don't know who made it, but I still laugh like a hyena every time I see it. (Side note: Either "Days of Future Past" is going to be an epic win, or an epic fail. I can't decide which. There's too damn much going on already, so it better be like the first two "X-Men" movies and not like the third one, which I like to pretend did not happen. Considering what Bryan Singer's last two movies were and how they turned out, I'm a little scared.)

O-kay, I'm out. Thanks for reading, and HOPEFULLY I can get it together and have some other posts for you this week. These allergies are a nightmare. Between the antibiotics, Robitussin, Zyrtec, and ground ginger root tea, I am going to be SO FUCKING PISSED if I'm still sick this weekend.