Zoya Gilda - so beautiful!

Pink nail polish is awesome, at least in my world. But when you pack it with small glitter and make it so sparkly that it practically lights up in the sunlight it hits a whole new level. This is exactly what Zoya did when they made Gilda and I'm so happy I bought this color. It's fantastic!

Above is a picture of Gilda taken inside with artificial light and it's still gorgeous! Gilda is from the Sparkle collection which is the same collection as Charla that I used earlier this week. The formula was very similar to Charla. I did find if you accidentally apply it too thick it will get chunky which is because of the glitter but if you keep your coats thin like usual it will glide right across the nail. I used two coats for solid coverage and my usual coat of Seche Vite to seal it all together.

The color is a bright pink that will grab attention! It's a perfect selection for summer and would be great for a pedicure in a fun pair of sandals as well. I can imagine this color on your nails hanging out at the pool or beach would be absolutely beautiful. It's much more than your typical pink and seems to be a pretty unique color. I definitely don't have any other pink like it in my collection. Zoya considers Gilda a foil-glitter metallic and I think you really need all three of those words to describe how interesting the colors from the Sparkle collection are.

The picture above was taken next to a window and you can already see the difference in the sparkle. The sun really lights up this color. It would a crime not to take this beauty outside so if you buy anything from the Sparkle collection you will most definitely want to see it in the sun. I tried getting a different picture in more direct sunlight but it seems like the sun always disappears when I need to take these pictures! Oh well, it will just keep it as a little surprise when you try these beauties out for yourself!

I feel like it's been awhile since I stamped so my next mani will be some type of stamping, I just have decide what. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy my beautiful pink sparkle nails!

Zoya Charla - Oh how I love you!

I was a bit sad to remove my water marble yesterday but was even more excited to try out my Zoya Remove+ and new Zoya Charla and they did not disappoint! For one, the Remove+ is awesome! I used less cotton pads and less remover than I've ever used with other brands and my nails were perfectly clean. I actually was able to do all 10 nails with only two small cotton pads. It was fantastic! Best of all not a single person complained about the smell and my fingers didn't feel sticky and dried out. I'm officially in love with Remove+ and would highly recommend it to anyone!

Now on to the best part. When I spread Charla across my first nail I actually had an audible gasp at how pretty it was! I had seen plenty of pictures of it online before buying but it's just so different in person. I was in awe of it right away. After only completing 5 nails I even posted about it on Facebook! It is by far my favorite color in my collection right now and that's saying something since I love almost everything I own right now. I have plenty of pictures to share with you to show the way it changes in different light so let's just get right to it.

This picture was taken in the sun along side a window and it's just beautiful! The application was fantastic. The formula is a bit thin but it spreads wonderfully and I didn't have any problems with it running. I actually could have just left it at one coat since the coverage was so great but I still did my automatic two. Describing Charla is really hard since it looks different in different light sources. In the picture above it looks teal with green and sometimes silver shimmer. It plays in the sunlight so wonderfully. I didn't think this did it enough justice though and pushed for a better sunlight picture which wasn't easy with the cloud cover we had today.

Look at that! In more direct sunlight it just lights up with a beautiful sparkles and comes off very blue (ignore the tire to my jeep in the background). My neighbor probably thinks I'm crazy since I was standing at my door for a while trying to catch a good picture of my nails in the sun. The clouds weren't cooperating so it took several tries. Oh well, it was worth catching the sparkle in this picture! You can see very little green in this picture compared to the indirect sunlight one from above but Charla isn't done yet. This color has a lot of tricks hidden in this bottle and gave me a completely different look when I snapped a picture inside with artificial light.

Just like that, Charla is suddenly more green than blue. It's like having three colors in one bottle and you just never know which one will flash its beauty. No matter what light I'm in I still have nothing but love of this color. It's so much fun! The way it looks inside with lamp light in the picture above actually reminds me of Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz which is exactly what my hubby said when he saw it when he got home. Then I showed him how it looked outside and he was surprised at the change! I'm happy to also say that he was impressed.

I consider this color a must have for anyone that likes a little sparkle in their life! It's fantastic for summer and so many people have said it looks fantastic underwater. I haven't been able to test that out but I can imagine the beauty. I can't wait to try out Gilda which is from the Sparkle collection which is the same as Charla. Check back for that later this week!

Tomorrow is my birthday and my hubby and I are spending the day in Connecticut. We're heading to Mystic Aquarium for the day and my nails will fit right in. It was a complete coincidence that I used Charla in time for our visit there but it worked out quite well. Maybe I'll get to see them underwater after all since they have an area where you can pet certain sea creatures!

Zoya order arrival!

Oh how I love when packages are delivered. I practically stalked the FedEx tracking page for the past two days and when the truck pulled up in front of my house I actually said "yay!" out loud. I love that Zoya ships quickly even during a big promo because patience was not part of my vocabulary once I placed this order. Anyway, here we go with the unpacking!

Pure happiness in a box! I was a little surprised to find the Smoke & Mirrors collection plate and the Touch collection spoons since in my past promo orders those were always automatically removed once I put the code in. I'm definitely not complaining and it made me want some colors from Smoke & Mirrors I was otherwise not considering! Nimue and Neeka look so much better on me than I thought they would and now I want Petra for sure. Tao looks better on the plate than it did online to me too so that might find its way to my collection too. As for the touch collection, I'm not totally in love. Minka is horrible on me and makes me look like I'm going for a zombie look. Shay and Pandora look fine on me with Shay being slightly better but I just can't picture myself actually using them.

I also ordered 6 spoons of colors I wasn't completely sure about. Two of them are actually from Smoke & Mirrors since I didn't think I would get the plate. Oh well! I labeled each spoon so you wouldn't have to try to read the tiny little type on each one.

Out of the 6 I fell in love with Dana and Robyn right away! I will be buying those two. It's a must! Codie is a bit too dark on me by itself but would be good in a design with other colors so I haven't completely decided on that one yet. I'm skipping Marina but ended up liking other colors from the collection. Apple I'm still on the fence about but Reece is an absolute no. The gold shimmer is horrible against my skin.

I'm excited to try the Remove+ for the first time. I had been thinking about ordering it since so many people rave about how awesome it is but never actually did. The promo was kind of a push to finally give it a try. So far the lack of horrible smell is pretty impressive and my Hubby commented on that right away. I love the bottle design too! I'll let you know what I think once I use it. Now, onto my newest additions!

From right to left are Gilda, Laney and Charla! I'm already in love with Charla just in the bottle and I can't wait to use her but after all the work I did for the water marble I'll wait a few days. It will be my first out of the three for sure though. I can already agree with the descriptions of Charla being like a mermaid in a bottle. It's just so gorgeous! I'm looking forward to seeing Gilda on the nail too. There weren't too many pictures of that one online but I loved how it sounded. As for Laney, I have a few nail designs in mind for that one!

After gushing over this order since it was delivered I really need to get back to getting work done but I just had to share my new pretties! If you ordered some new Zoya during this promo I hope yours arrives soon too so you can play. =)

My first ever water marble!

Ever since I saw a picture of a water marble I was fascinated! I automatically assumed it was complicated and dismissed the idea of ever doing it. Then I happened to come across a video tutorial on Youtube when I was browsing other nail videos. When I saw how simple it seemed I decided to give it a try. Then I put it off and sort of avoided it. Call me a chicken.

Then last night I once again was stuck on what to do next. I needed to do something because I can no longer leave my nails naked but I'm expecting my new Zoya order tomorrow (yay!). I left it up to the hubby again and of course the first thing he said was to do a marble. Sigh. He picked three colors he thought would be good together and declared it my new mani. So off I went and it was horrible. The nail polish decided it hated my water and refused to cooperate. I was frustrated and quite annoyed. So I ditched my room temperature filtered water and cleaned up the mess and walked away. I gave up.

Then this afternoon I decided I must win. I couldn't let it beat me. I grabbed some room temperature distilled water instead and gave it another try. Guess what? Success! It worked and I was thrilled. I taped up my fingers like one tutorial said which was weird and sometimes difficult. Especially when I had to finish the last few fingers with the others covered in tape. Anyway, I picked an order for the colors and dove right in. I'm very happy to say that I now have 10 water marbled nails and I'm very happy with how it looks. Was it messy? Oh my god yes! It's almost insane. I had so many toothpicks covered in nail polish, the bowl looked like half a rainbow exploded and very colorful pieces of tape were scattered around my table. I should have taken a picture of the aftermath but I didn't. In the end though, this was my result.

TaDa! My hubby's three choices were Zoya Breezi, Essie Turquoise & Caicos and Orly Blackout. He apparently really likes Zoya Breezi since it's the second time in a month that he picked it as part of his choice. The colors actually worked really well together and all three spread across the surface of the water pretty well. Its funny how doing basically the same pattern each time created such different results. It's actually fun to watch different designs appear in the bowl. Mine was wide enough that I could do two fingers at a time which made it much quicker.

You can see a little smudging at the base of my pinky from when I removed the tape. After that I cut the rest of the pieces off to avoid messing up all the work I had just finished. Even though Orly Blackout is normally quite dark, once it was in the middle of the marble and other colors it actually appears slightly brown on the nail. There's only one nail that it actually came out dark enough to be an obvious black. I'm still really happy with it though whether it looks brown or black.

So, would I do a marble again? I think so. It's fun to play with the nail polish and create a unique design in the water. Would I do anything different? Besides trying other colors, not really. I will cut the tape off all the nails next time but that's the only change. The tape is worth the effort as it made cleanup much faster. There was very minimal nail polish on my skin so it only too a couple q-tips to clean up the very edges of all 10 nails. I will jump right to the distilled water next time since that obviously worked much better. I guess our filtered tap water just isn't friendly enough. Would I recommend a water marble to someone else? Sure! As long as you're prepared for the mess and possible frustration if your nail polish and water won't play together. In the end it really does create an interesting effect.

Tomorrow my new Zoya order should arrive as long as FedEx delivers like they said they would! I took advantage of their promotion for reaching 50,000 'likes' which offers a free bottle of their Remove+ with any purchase. It's still going if you're interested and you have until the 24th! I can't wait to try their polish remover for the first time and play with my new colors.

Happy weekend!

One word. Teenagers.

I've become an old person in my early 20's simply because I hear my self make comments about not liking teenagers. It sounds funny since it hasn't been all that long since I was one. Before you think I'm attacking an entire age segment for no reason, I assure you I have one. It's called vandalism and it sucks.

Two days ago my Aunt Claire received a very unpleasant surprise. Someone decided to destroy one of the tires on her car. Awesome huh? They punctured a hole into one section and then added three other slashes throughout the rest of the tire. They literally spread out the hole and slashes so they were almost evenly spaced around the tire. They obviously wanted to make sure the tire had absolutely no chance and they succeeded. Her tire was as flat as can be. Thankfully they only attacked one but we think it was simply because a car was coming down the road and they fled. Oh and did I mention she had just put 4 brand new tires on the car at the end of May?

We have no idea why they did it. There are never issues in this neighborhood and even the police were surprised. We have absolutely no issues with anyone so it couldn't have been truly directed at her. Clearly some teenagers had way too much time on their hands when they should have been home since it was after . Makes me wonder if they were allowed to be out that late or if they snuck out to get into things. Who knows?

Unfortunately we have no idea who they were or where they live. All we know was there were two teenagers running from our yard but it was too dark to really see. The police also said there have been no other reports of other vandalism in the area so for some reason my Aunt's car was their one and only target. My only guess was they picked it because it was parked on the side of the road in front of our house and possibly decided was easier than going into someone's driveway especially since my hubby's car and mine were completely untouched. My other guess was they were bored and thought it would be funny. That tends to be the reasoning teens use for stupid decisions so that's what I'm going with.

So there's nothing we can really do and they probably think it's hilarious that they got away with it. The tire has been replaced so all is well with her car now. I'm a bit unnerved that there were two idiots hanging out in front of my house destroying property and got away with it. Hopefully our neighborhood can return to quiet and uneventful as it has been in the past.

NYC in Greenwich Village with Zebra print!

Goodbye blue, hello pink! After several weeks of reds, blues and more blue I have returned to my true color. I feel like myself again. Don't get me wrong, I love my other colors and designs I've done lately but wearing pink always makes me feel like me.

This time I pulled out a color I've had for a while and what I lovingly refer to as my 'cheapies'. I literally bought this at Target for a little over a $1 but I can't help love the color. It's a NYC in a New York Color Minute bottle named Greenwich Village. It's a berry pink but still bright and summery. The application isn't the best and it's no where near as smooth as Zoya but it's purely the color that keeps me coming back. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take a picture of the color on its own! I painted them last night but wanted to wait for the sunlight and forgot. Oops!

What I do have photos of is my results after stamping over the Greenwich Village with my MASH plate m57. I picked the zebra print and used Orly Blackout that I bought in a miniature bottle. I can't really speak for how well it works for painting since this is my first time using it but I can say it stamped very well.

Call me in love! I'm not usually into animal prints but I can't stop staring at this design. The black pops off the pink really well. I've had this design in my head for days now and I'm so glad I finally did it! I'm thrilled with how it came out and I can see myself doing it again.

If you're interested in the color you can usually easily find them at Target and all the colors in this line are named after different places in New York City. It's a fun concept and an easy and cheap way to experiment with colors.

Now that Zoya has announced their promo to celebrate reaching 50,000 likes on Facebook I'll be planning a new order. Yay! If you haven't already, head over to the Zoya Facebook to learn about the details!

Happy Friday!

OPI White Shatter over Zoya Breezi!

I finally bought OPI White Shatter a few weeks ago after having a pretty hard time finding in stores. I finally got around to using it today in honor of OPI's Day of Shatter that they posted about on their Facebook page. I was still wearing my Zoya Breezi manicure so I decided to shatter right over that for a great white and blue contrast. I'm so happy with how it came out!

I admit I was a tad unsure about using the shatter for the first time as I wasn't totally sure how thin or thick to put it on to get the right look. Luckily the coats I did worked perfectly and it looks pretty awesome. Zoya Breezi is showing through very well and plays off the white well. It gave new life to my several day old mani! It's such a fun twist and really easy to do.

For me it worked out doing somewhat thin coats but not too thin or it will streak which I think is simply because it's a white. I also dries very fast so you have to be pretty quick with each nail. Cleaning it off my skin was pretty simple too so don't worry if you're a little messy when applying. I use a nail corrector pen and it came right off even after it dried. You have to be willing to let the nails look a bit different from each other since it will shatter in different ways each time. Sometimes that's hard for me but I was able to let it go to enjoy the look.

It does dry a bit rough so it won't feel silky like a typical polish. Once it dried I used Seche Vite so I wouldn't have issues with it flaking off or catching on clothing and it made it mostly smooth to the touch. It will keep it protected though so I won't have to worry. Yet another reason to invest in a great top coat, it's an absolute must!

I know a very important tip for all shatters and crackles is you must let your polish dry completely before using! I didn't have any issue with this since I did it days after my original manicure but you absolutely can do it same day as long as you be patient and let your base color completely dry and set. I already had a layer of Seche Vite on over Breezi and it still shattered beautifully so using a fast dry top coat is a great option before using the shatter.

So if you're still on the fence about buying a shatter or crackle maybe this will help you try it out. It's a fun look and even more fun to do. I loved watching it slowly shatter across my nail! I think I want to try a silver shatter next. I'm still not on board with the red shatter/crackles for some reason but might give in eventually.

Zoya Breezi Swatch and Zoya Color Spoon Comparison!

After wearing my 4th of July mani for several days I decided I needed something a bit more toned down. The only problem was I couldn't decide which color to wear! Such a dilemma. So I put the hubby to work and asked him to pick a color for me. His choice was Zoya Breezi which is the same color I used for the blue fireworks designs but I so don't mind. I absolutely love this color and I used to never even touch blue polishes before. Zoya converted me!

Before I bought this bottle I ordered one of Zoya's color spoons that they offer for almost all their colors. If you never heard of or purchased a color spoon they really are a great invention! The concept is very simple: Zoya makes small spoon like sample of their colors and sell them for $0.50 each (with free shipping). The spoon lets you place the color against your nails and skin to help decide if it's a color for you. The best part is for each spoon you buy you get a credit for the spoon price that you can put towards future purchases. Pretty awesome right? You get to give a color a test run before investing in a bottle which makes buying nail polish online that much more simple! Clearly I'm in love with this concept.

If you're anything like me you're probably wondering how accurate the color spoon sample is to the actual color. Well, that's what this post is for. I decided to show how the spoon for Breezi compares to the color painted on my nails. So, let’s get to it!

I had a hard time getting pictures today since it's so cloudy and gray here. Here's the best attempt I could get to show Breezi in natural light.

It's not the best picture ever but it's the best I could do with the crappy weather. I wanted to get it though to show the difference in the color from natural light to artificial. Here's a picture I took inside with an overhead light.

See the difference? Either way the color is gorgeous! I enjoy when colors change a bit from inside to outside light. Gives you a little variety within one manicure. The formula for Breezi is very smooth and is completely opaque in two coats which I did above. You could probably get away with one coat if you put it on a little thick but I always try to keep my coats thin and do at least two almost always. Zoya describes Breezi as a "Soft, dusty, dirty medium cerulean blue with an opaque cream finish.  A super chic high-fashion denim look for nails." I really couldn't describe it any better. Some people might find this color to be a bit dark for summer but I still love it.

Now on to the spoon comparison pictures! Zoya sends their spoons in the cutest little match book like holder but the spoon itself is a perfect size to hold over your nail to get a good feel for the color. Here's the spoon on its own.

You can see that the color is in a generic nail shape with a shiny finish to help you see how the color would look on your nails with a top coat. Each spoon is labeled with the name of the color next to the Zoya name which you can sort of see in the picture. The names are quite small on the spoon which is my only complaint but it's not a major issue. It's still easily readable so I don't mind too much.

I was impressed when I held the spoon up to my finished Breezi mani and I think you will be too.

How's that for an accurate representation? This picture was taken in the same artificial light as the other one I posted above and the color is dead on. After seeing how well the spoon held up to the actual color I will definitely be ordering more spoons when shopping for colors from Zoya, especially the ones I'm not completely sure about based on the web photos.

So there's my little compression. Hopefully it will help someone who was a little unsure about the spoons feel more comfortable.

Enjoy your weekend!

*Disclaimer* - I was in no way compensated for this review by Zoya or any other party. All opinions of this product are purely my own and are in no way influenced by anyone or any brand.

(Part 2) Fireworks and flag mani! - 4th of July 2011

Well friends, I did a redo. I decided I wasn't happy with the stripes in my first Fourth of July design that I did yesterday. My mind kept going to candy canes instead of the flag so I decided to do it over. Here is my second 4th of July mani (and my last for this year).

I'm much much happier with this one! As you can see, I replaced the red and white stripes with more fireworks. On my middle finger and pinky on both hands I used Zoya Breezi as a base and Zoya Sooki with OPI Alpine Snow to make the fireworks design. I topped them with a bit of Stripe Rite red glitter and Wet & Wild Kaleidoscope just as I did before with the red style. I think it's a nice contrast and a bit of variety with the full fireworks design. Plus I was able to have more blue than I had before. I'm actually really in love with this!

My Aunt Claire never wears nail polish or makeup but is actually enjoying watching me play with different designs and is pretty interested in how I do each one. This one though, is the first one that has made her consider having me doing her nails! Now that's a compliment!

To switch it up a bit I did a different design on my thumbs. For this I used a base of OPI Alpine Snow (still a pain to do full nail coverage) with Zoya Sooki stripes and Zoya Breezi star stamping to create a flag. My hubby calls it a more abstract American flag because of the way I did the stripes.

I used MASH plate m44 for both the stripes and the stars to create this look. Both stamps are actually made for the tips which are why the stripes have the curve but I thought it would give it a bit of a different look for a flag nail designs.

I'll be keeping this look through the rest of the holiday weekend and our trip to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday the 6th. Even though Independence Day will be over the colors still fit with the Red Sox colors so it works.

What do you wonderful readers think of this design? I would love to see your feedback!

Enjoy your holiday!

Fireworks and stripes mani! - 4th of July 2011 (Part 1)

I can't believe it's already the first week of July! It's my favorite month of the year but I can't believe the year is going by so fast. My birthday being at the end of the month probably has something to do with it being my favorite but the fireworks, cookouts, warm weather and being out in the sun is pretty awesome too.

Anyway, as part of our celebrations I decided to do an Independence Day manicure like so many other nail addicts bloggers are doing. This is actually my first attempt at a free handed design and I'm happy with how it came out. My left hand looks the best since I'm right handed which means I'll just have to half ignore my right hand since it's not quite as good as I want it to be.

For the design I did white with red strips on 6 of my nails and red with white, blue and glitter fireworks on the other 4. It was so much fun!

For this design I used Zoya Sooki, Zoya Breezi, OPI Alpine Snow, Stripe Rite red glitter, Wet & Wild Kaleidoscope and Seche Vite to set it all in place. Phew! That's the most I've ever used on one manicure. It was all worth it though and definitely the most fun I've had making a design.

For the stripes and fireworks I used a very fine nail art brush I bought at Sally's. It's actually a double tool with a fine brush on one end and a small dotter on the other. I'm really happy with the brush so far. It's firm but still a bit flexible and pretty thin for small details. The best part is the end with the brush is actually curved so you can see what you doing without the handle being in the way. It's a nice little design feature.

The only thing that gave me an issue was actually the OPI Alpine Snow. I don't know if I just have a weird bottle but the formula is kind of thick and a pain to paint the entire nail. Up until now I had only used it for stamping which it has worked great for but using it for full coverage wasn't fun at all. My Zoya's on the other hand went on beautifully as usual so I'll probably just order a bottle of white from Zoya. Maybe Purity or Snow White.

I haven't used it for anything I've shared on this blog yet but I absolutely love Zoya Sooki (yes as in True Blood Sooki)! It's a beautiful red. It reminds me of fresh blood which is kind of a morbid comparison but it fits since the name is shared with the main character of a vampire series on HBO. It's definitely a red I would recommend to anyone shopping for one.

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend! Hopefully you will have the chance to see a great fireworks show or two and spend some time with family and friends. Stay safe and have fun!

Happy 4th of July!