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Archive for the ‘Milani’ Category

Zoya Rory, Kimber, and Comparisons

Today I have another one of my straggling summer Zoya posts – the two pink foily polishes from the Surf collection! (Look at how long my nails were – I really liked this length/shape! ;))

Zoya Rory

First is Rory, an awesome cool-toned, lilac-leaning bubblegum pink foil polish! Quite unique, I love it! This was two coats. The formula was a little thick but easy to apply.

Zoya Rory

And next, Kimber, a darker red-toned warm fuchsia pink with golden shimmer.

Zoya Kimber

I’d say that Kimber’s finish is somewhere between foil and glass-fleck, definitely not a true foil like Rory.

Zoya Kimber

This is also two coats of Kimber, whose formula was similar to Rory’s, although slightly thinner. Neither had any issues with application.

Zoya Kimber

And now, some nail wheel comparisons of any and all polishes I had that were remotely similar! The first photo is indoors near my Ott light, the second in direct sun; neither is that great lighting-wise but I hope each can make up for the other’s deficiencies in showing the colours! Kimber and Rory are directly across from one another at the point where the two wheels are closest to each other.

Left wheel, clockwise: Soulstice Kauai, Milani Photo Flash, Milani In a Flash, Kleancolor Metallic Pink, Manglaze Lesbihonest, Milani Golden Girl, Milani Gold Digger, Milani Pink Out Loud, Zoya Kimber, China Glaze Strawberry Fields, Essence Glamorous Life, China Glaze Endurance, Zoya Starla, LA Colors Coral Reef.

Left wheel, clockwise: Soulstice Kauai, Milani Photo Flash, Milani In a Flash, Kleancolor Metallic Pink, Manglaze Lesbihonest, Milani Golden Girl, Milani Gold Digger, Milani Pink Out Loud, Zoya Kimber, China Glaze Strawberry Fields, Essence Glamorous Life, China Glaze Endurance, Zoya Starla, LA Colors Coral Reef.
Right wheel, counterclockwise from top: LA Girl Rockstar Scandal, China Glaze No Way José, Orly Rose Radiance, LA Girl Pink Steel, Zoya Rory, Pop Beauty Ruby Metal, Orly Preamp, LA Girl Color Addict Euphoria, Milani Gold Violetta.

As you can see, Rory is unique even among the other pink foils I have, and Kimber is fairly similar to China Glaze Strawberry Fields. Strawberry Fields is a bit lighter and less red though, and its shimmer is less dense.

Left wheel, clockwise: Soulstice Kauai, Milani Photo Flash, Milani In a Flash, Kleancolor Metallic Pink, Manglaze Lesbihonest, Milani Golden Girl, Milani Gold Digger, Milani Pink Out Loud, Zoya Kimber, China Glaze Strawberry Fields, Essence Glamorous Life, China Glaze Endurance, Zoya Starla, LA Colors Coral Reef.

Left wheel, clockwise: Soulstice Kauai, Milani Photo Flash, Milani In a Flash, Kleancolor Metallic Pink, Manglaze Lesbihonest, Milani Golden Girl, Milani Gold Digger, Milani Pink Out Loud, Zoya Kimber, China Glaze Strawberry Fields, Essence Glamorous Life, China Glaze Endurance, Zoya Starla, LA Colors Coral Reef.
Right wheel, counterclockwise from top: LA Girl Rockstar Scandal, China Glaze No Way José, Orly Rose Radiance, LA Girl Pink Steel, Zoya Rory, Pop Beauty Ruby Metal, Orly Preamp, LA Girl Color Addict Euphoria, Milani Gold Violetta.

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Zoya Tracie, Meg and comparisons

Since October is Depression Awareness Month (yup, it’s not just for breast cancer!) and the depression awareness colour is green, I thought a green-heavy first post of the month would be appropriate.

So, I’ve got Zoya Tracie and Meg from the Beach and Surf collection, along with nail wheel comparisons with tons of other green shades!

Zoya Tracie

This is Zoya Tracie, two coats. I love this colour, soft yellow-toned green creme base with subtle pearly silver shimmer.

Zoya Tracie

The formula was a little tricky, thick yet threatening to drip down the brush stem, and I had to take care to let it dry between coats to prevent dragging. Worth it for such a great shade! The photos include base and top coat.

Zoya Tracie

Meg is a medium green foil. I also had a little streaking and dragging with this one, but then I didn’t use a base coat for this swatch so that may have been the reason. This is two coats of Meg.

Zoya Meg

Really nice polish as well, but much less interesting than Tracie to me. Tracie is much more unique.

Zoya Meg

Zoya Meg

And now for the massive comparisons! The first photo shows the nail wheels in direct sunlight, and the second photo shows them under the Ott Lite. Clicking on the photos will bring up a bigger version where it’s easier to see the polishes (but then, the caption isn’t included, so the close-up polishes and their names aren’t visible together; sorry about that). Meg and Tracie are the polishes in the middle that are almost touching, one on each wheel.

Zoya Tracie & Meg green comparison wheels

Left wheel, clockwise from top: Color Club Mol-ten, Color Club Kiss Me Mistletoe, Wet n Wild Jungle Fever, Cosmetic Arts You Sleigh Me, Zoya Meg, Kleancolor Metallic Green, Butter London Dosh, Finger Paints Comet’s Collar, NYX Girls Luscious Green, Zoya Midori, Nicole by OPI Make Mine Lime, Sparitual Greenhouse, Gosh Golden Dragon.
Right wheel, counterclockwise from gap in polishes: NYX (Salon line) Lime, Nicole by OPI My Favourite Gold, OPI Simply Smashing, Kleancolor Jazz Olive, Zoya Tangy, Misa Secrets, OPI Bikini Envy, Zoya Tracie, Milani Original, LA Girl Color Addict Urge, Soulstice Telluride, Misa Fountain of Youth, Milani Key Lime Shine, Nubar Baby Sprout, NYX (Salon line) Pastel Pistachio, Nubar Kiwi.

No exact dupes to these Zoyas, but Wet n Wild Jungle Fever is very close to Meg, and Cosmetic Arts You Sleigh Me (next to Meg) is also pretty similar. The base colour of the NYX Salon polish in Pastel Pistachio is pretty close to Tracie, but the NYX polish is just a plain creme without any shimmer. OPI Bikini Envy is the shimmery polish that I’d say is closest to Tracie, but the OPI is lighter, more sheer, and frostier. Actually, I’m thinking Tracie is pretty similar to what it would look like to mix NYX Pastel Pistachio and OPI Bikini Envy together!

Zoya Tracie & Meg green comparison wheels

Left wheel, clockwise from top: Color Club Mol-ten, Color Club Kiss Me Mistletoe, Wet n Wild Jungle Fever, Cosmetic Arts You Sleigh Me, Zoya Meg, Kleancolor Metallic Green, Butter London Dosh, Finger Paints Comet’s Collar, NYX Girls Luscious Green, Zoya Midori, Nicole by OPI Make Mine Lime, Sparitual Greenhouse, Gosh Golden Dragon.
Right wheel, counterclockwise from gap in polishes: NYX (Salon line) Lime, Nicole by OPI My Favourite Gold, OPI Simply Smashing, Kleancolor Jazz Olive, Zoya Tangy, Misa Secrets, OPI Bikini Envy, Zoya Tracie, Milani Original, LA Girl Color Addict Urge, Soulstice Telluride, Misa Fountain of Youth, Milani Key Lime Shine, Nubar Baby Sprout, NYX (Salon line) Pastel Pistachio, Nubar Kiwi.

A couple pairs of notable near-dupes in here: Color Club Mol-ten and Kiss Me Mistletoe (Mistletoe is scented, though); OPI Simply Smashing and Nicole by OPI My Favourite Gold (which I think is an odd name, my favourite gold is a green??).

Zoya Myrta and Comparisons

Zoya Myrta is from their summer 2012 collection, Surf. I’m slowly but surely trying to do large nail wheel comparison posts for all of the Beach and Surf polishes. I like to see where shades fit into the colour spectrum of similar shades, and hopefully you do too, dear readers. 🙂

Zoya Myrta

Myrta is an orange-red coral shade, with a finish somewhere between foil and glass fleck. This is two coats of Myrta, with two coats of Cult Nails Get it On base coat underneath as I’d heard this polish stains. The two coats of base coat did prevent staining, but did cause a bit of bubbling; not sure if I didn’t wait long enough between coats, or if Zoya just doesn’t play nicely with Cult Nails base coat…

Zoya Myrta

Bright, shimmery, pretty!

Zoya Myrta

Here are my nail wheel comparisons with Myrta! I used pretty much any polish in remotely the same colour family here, so the wheel is full! I realized afterward that I probably should have numbered or somehow indicated the start position on the wheel, but hopefully it’s not difficult to find Myrta as it’s pretty much at the top in both photos (more specifically, it’s the one right above the letter ‘L’ in the word ‘WHEEL’ that is on the centre of the wheel) and right next to it is the matte Manglaze polish (I applied topcoat to only half of this matte shade’s swatch). As usual, each swatch shows a progression of one, two and three coats of the given polish.

Like last time, I have to apologize again for the lack of appropriate lighting to properly and accurately show the nail wheel comparisons. Again, I did one photo in the sun and one under the Ott Lite. I’m waiting on a soft lightbox that I ordered, so hopefully soon I’ll be able to take better photos of these types of comparisons. Sun photo:

Zoya Myrta comparison

Clockwise from top: Zoya Myrta, Manglaze Butt Taco (matte, left side of swatch with topcoat), Color Club Feel the Beat, LA Colors Fiery Orange, Nubar Arencia, Milani Metal Gear, Orly Flicker, LA Girl Copper Alloy, No Miss Tamarack Tangerine, Soulstice Rio, LA Colors Coral Reef, Milani Glitzy Jam, Milani Just Peachy, Milani Melt With U, LA Colors Aztec Orange, Orly Emberstone, Milani Orange Burst, Milani Flashlight.

Ott Lite photo:

Zoya Myrta comparison

Clockwise from top: Zoya Myrta, Manglaze Butt Taco (matte, left side of swatch with topcoat), Color Club Feel the Beat, LA Colors Fiery Orange, Nubar Arencia, Milani Metal Gear, Orly Flicker, LA Girl Copper Alloy, No Miss Tamarack Tangerine, Soulstice Rio, LA Colors Coral Reef, Milani Glitzy Jam, Milani Just Peachy, Milani Melt With U, LA Colors Aztec Orange, Orly Emberstone, Milani Orange Burst, Milani Flashlight.

In terms of similarity, I’d say that Myrta is closest to LA Colors Aztec Orange (4th shade to the left of Myrta), although Aztec Orange has a sheerer base and more sparse shimmery flecks. As you can see, some of the shades on the wheel are dupes or near-dupes to one another, notably Milani Orange Burst and Flashlight, and the trio of LA Colors Fiery Orange, Nubar Arencia, and Milani Metal Gear.

Orly Preamp

Like Flicker, this is another of my new favourite Orlys! This one is Preamp from the Electronica collection.

Orly Preamp

It’s a slightly jellyish lavender-pink with lots of hot pink glass-fleck shimmer.

Orly Preamp

These first photos in the shade show two thick coats of the polish. The formula was a little thick but smooth.

Orly Preamp

In these next sun photos, I have an accent nail of Milani Hot Pink, a bright pink jelly with golden glass-fleck shimmer. I believe this was three coats of Hot Pink. Both polishes have topcoat added here.

Orly Preamp with Milani Hot Pink accent

I thought these two went together really well!

Orly Preamp with Milani Hot Pink accent

I really love glass-fleck polishes in general, and Preamp is a great one!

Zoya Shelby and Comparisons

When I posted my Zoya Beach skittles, I promised swatches and comparisons of the Beach and Surf collection polishes, and the project is going slowly but I’ve finally got the first one ready: Zoya Shelby, a bubblegum pink creme.

Zoya Shelby

I used three coats for this swatch because I was having issues with streaks and lumps, but I think I had just had too much coffee that day or something since I only needed two coats of Shelby when I did the skittles.

In shade:

Zoya Shelby

These next two photos were taken the following day so they include top coat. I can’t remember what happened to my index finger to make it no longer presentable, I suppose probably a chip! As usual, the ridges on my ring finger are just the way the nail is, not the fault of the polish!

Zoya Shelby

Zoya Shelby

Now for some comparisons. Each swatch on the nail wheel progressively shows the polish at one, two and three coats from base to tip. These were taken in full sunlight which is probably not the best light for photographing nail wheels (diffused light would be better), so I’m including two photos at different angles.

Zoya Shelby comparisons

Left to right: China Glaze Pink Underground, Wet n Wild Candylicious, Milani Tip Toe, Zoya Shelby, Gosh Bubblegum, Nubar Pink Creme, OPI Got a Date To-Knight, China Glaze Empowerment, OPI Pink Friday

I included one shimmer polish (Pink Underground) since the shimmer is subtle and the base colour is in the same family. I also included some popular darker (Candylicious) and lighter (Got a Date, Pink Friday, Empowerment) pinks to show where Shelby fits into the spectrum.

Zoya Shelby comparisons

Left to right: China Glaze Pink Underground, Wet n Wild Candylicious, Milani Tip Toe, Zoya Shelby, Gosh Bubblegum, Nubar Pink Creme, OPI Got a Date To-Knight, China Glaze Empowerment, OPI Pink Friday

These last swatches are under the Ott Lite, showing just the polishes that are closest to Shelby.

Nubar Pink Creme, Zoya Shelby, Gosh Bubblegum, Milani Tip Toe Pink

Top to bottom: Nubar Pink Creme, Zoya Shelby, Gosh Bubblegum, Milani Tip Toe Pink

I’d say in one way that Gosh Bubblegum is the most similar of them since it also has a cool undertone while Tip Toe Pink and Pink Creme are slightly more warm. But Tip Toe Pink is the closest in terms of the depth of the shade, since the Gosh polish is definitely lighter!

White Creme Comparison

Today I’ve got a comparison to show you of the plain white creme polishes that I own. As you’ll see, one of the four is the clear winner in terms of opacity and formula!

White creme comparison

From left to right, we have: Color Club French Tip, Kleancolor White, Sally Girl Pure, and Milani White on the Spot. This is the order in which I acquired these polishes, and getting the Milani from their fast-dry line with its supposed “one coat formula” is what prompted the comparison. I was skeptical and figured that was total BS since white cremes are notoriously streaky and badly-behaved, but as it turns out, the Milani white is actually *almost* a one-coater so the claim is only a slight exaggeration!

This first photo shows one coat of each polish, index to pinkie (bottom to top) in the same order as the bottles. I applied them all with a fairly thick coat (basically just not wiping off the brush on the bottle rim before applying), since whites and pastels usually benefit from a light touch rather than applying a lot of very thin coats which tend to go on streakier.

White creme comparison - 1 coat

As you can see, the Milani on the pinkie is actually not bad, some bald areas but not too streaky looking! The other three polishes were very similar to one another (in terms of how the photo looks, the Sally Girl on my ring finger has an unfair disadvantage here, since that nail has the most ridges and for some reason has more of an orange stain than the others!). They were streakier and less self-leveling than the Milani. My mini bottle of Kleancolor needed a few drops of thinner in it, but that was no doubt just due to the fact that it’s the one I’ve actually used the most. I actually prefer the Kleancolor’s thick consistency among those three other polishes.

Here they are at two coats (without top coat). You can see that the Milani on my pinkie is the most opaque and smoothest; the others are slightly ridged lengthwise since they don’t self-level as well as the Milani. In terms of drying time, I didn’t really notice the Milani being much quicker than the others or anything, but they all dried fairly quickly.

White creme comparison - 2 coats

Next I wanted to compare them in terms of how well they do for stamping. As a base I used one coat of Kleancolor Plum (followed by some quick dry top coat), then I used a design from Konad plate M15 and stamped on each polish in the same order as before (here, left to right). Please disregard the smudged/missing and crooked parts (augh, that pinkie!); that’s just user error and not the polishes!! They all worked pretty similarly but the Milani and the Color Club gave a slightly brighter white image.

White creme comparison - stamping

Next I stamped using the French tip designs from Konad M86. (Polishes are in the same order index to pinkie, so now, right to left.) As you can see they don’t work so well for these larger-area images, though the actual gaps in the design are more user error than anything else. None of them leaves a very opaque image though; the stamps all have a sort of rippled look to them. Not sure if that could be reduced a bit by using a lighter touch when transferring the image onto the stamper. Again the Milani and Color Club give a slightly brighter result.

White creme comparison - stamping

After stamping on the French tips I carefully went over them again with polish, just brushing it on, to fill them in and attempt to make them somewhat presentable. Here’s the result; all of them worked fine for this but the Milani did give the smoothest result. In terms of brushes, I should mention that the Fast Dry Milanis have a flat wide brush, similar to OPI and Kleancolor brushes. (Even the Kleancolor minis have a flat brush, though on a smaller scale. The other two polishes here have skinny round brushes.)

White creme comparison - french tips

Another photo featuring Wade in the background!

So there you have it; best white creme polish in my (albeit limited) experience is definitely Milani’s White on the Spot!

Soulstice Spa Harbour Island and Cape Cod

Soulstice Spa has released four new polish shades into their collection for spring 2012, and today I have two of them to show you, complete with comparisons to a couple other polishes I have.

The two polishes I got are Cape Cod, a light, slightly muted blue with pearly shimmer, and Harbour Island, a pale, sheer peachy-pink-nude jelly with holographic glitter in it! As a bonus, a couple of adorable kitties will be making an appearance in today’s photos! 😉 All photos are taken in direct sunlight.

These next photos are three coats of Cape Cod. At first I found the formula to be thick so I was having trouble evening out my coats but I added a little Beauty Secrets thinner and that helped a lot.

I really like this shade of blue and the fine pearly shimmer!

The shimmer has a sort of blueish glow to it in the sunlight, very cool!

This polish reminded me of Milani Antique, another light blue with the same type of finish, so I did a little comparison. Index and ring are Antique, middle and pinkie are Cape Cod, three coats each. As you can see the Milani is a couple shades darker than Cape Cod.

And here is my boy Thor checking out the comparison, haha!

Next up, Harbour Island. These photos are also three coats.

The formula was really smooth and easy to apply but it’s a sheer and the third coat adds more sparkle and reflectivity.

The base colour of this polish is pale peach with a bit of a pinkish tone.

The holo glitter does dry slightly rough, but top coat easily takes care of that (these photos include top coat).

As always you can click on any of these photos to see the sparkly holo glitter in better detail!

I can’t say that I have any other peach/nude jellies with holo glitter! But here is a comparison to the closest thing I have, LA Splash Sparkling Jellyfish. Sparkling Jellyfish, in the middle in the following photo, is significantly deeper, brighter and more pink.

And finally, Harbour Island makes a great layering polish; here it is over China Glaze V, a light orange-coral creme. Hanging out in the photo is my boy Wade! (Wade lost an eye to a severe upper respiratory infection as a kitten when he first arrived at the shelter, but it doesn’t slow him down in the slightest! Nor does it prevent him from being the alpha male in our little feline “colony”!)

The other two polishes in this release, which I don’t have (yet, at least!), are St. Tropez, a beige nude that looks to have pearly shimmer similar to Cape Cod, and Kauai, a berry pink with golden shimmer. If you’re curious about them, blogger Glazed Talons reviewed them both here. These shades are available directly through Soulstice Spa on their website; Nail Polish Canada also sells Soulstice but they don’t have these new shades in stock yet as of the time I’m posting this.

Disclosure: the Soulstice Spa polishes in this post were provided to me for review. All opinions are my own honest opinions. (The other polishes in this post were purchased by me. The cats were rescued from the street and adopted from a shelter, respectively. :P)

Pastel Skittles Mani

Just a quick post today to share a recent pastel skittles (each nail a different colour, for those who aren’t familiar with nail-polish-addict-speak ;)) manicure I did. I felt like doing something spring-like and cool-toned, and here are the polishes I decided on: Essence You Belong To Me, Milani Original, Essence A Lovely Secret, Milani Dressmaker, and Milani Antique.

Essence You Belong To Me, Milani Original, Essence A Lovely Secret, Milani Dressmaker, Milani Antique

Essence You Belong To Me is a pastel turquoise creme with some fine pearly secret shimmer; Milani Original is a mint green creme; Essence A Lovely Secret is a lavender creme with fine warmer-toned and slightly darker magenta-purple glitter; Milani Dressmaker is a pale minty jade with turquoise shimmer; Milani Antique is a slightly muted/dusty light blue creme with fine pearly secret shimmer. Three coats of each polish (actually I think I added a fourth of Dressmaker, since it’s a pretty sheer polish).

Unfortunately there was no sun when I wore this, so the shimmer of the polishes doesn’t show up very well in the photos, although if you click to enlarge them you can see some, especially in the first photo. These pics include topcoat; I had been wearing the mani a while when I took them. Overcast natural light:

Essence You Belong To Me, Milani Original, Essence A Lovely Secret, Milani Dressmaker, Milani Antique

Essence You Belong To Me, Milani Original, Essence A Lovely Secret, Milani Dressmaker, Milani Antique

Artificial light (Ott light) – the colours are truer in this photo, as the previous ones make them seem a little darker than they are:

Essence You Belong To Me, Milani Original, Essence A Lovely Secret, Milani Dressmaker, Milani Antique

Kleancolor Holo Pink and Holo Orange over Milani Retro

Kleancolor has a half dozen of these holo glitter polishes in different colours; I decided to layer the pink and the orange over 2 coats of Milani Retro, which is a pastel coral creme with subtle shimmer (and a nice formula!).

These are holo glitters, not smooth holo particles, so they do dry rough. They also don’t dry all that quickly, but don’t take as long as the Kleancolor layering glitters which can sometimes be really bad! Shown are two coats of each glitter, with top coat. On their own, they may need 3 coats for opacity; I’m not sure.

In the sun:
Kleancolor Holo Pink and Holo Orange over Milani Retro

The pink and orange are both pastels; they appear darker and more pink/coral here because of the coral polish underneath.

In the shade:
Kleancolor Holo Pink and Holo Orange over Milani Retro

I didn’t really care for the pink all that much on my skintone, but I really like the orange and plan to try it on its own as well as over other bases. Also looking forward to trying Holo Yellow!

OPI Fly and comparisons

At the risk of making it seem like all I post is OPI, here’s yet another one! This is OPI Fly from their recently released Nicki Minaj collection. I wasn’t going to get any polishes from this collection but when I saw them in store I couldn’t resist getting Fly. I’m powerless against turquoise!

I didn’t have any good light for swatching but I figured I’d just do it anyway. This is two coats of Fly, no top coat, in natural overcast light.
OPI Fly, overcast natural light

With Flash:
OPI Fly, with flash

Since I’m a total sucker for this kind of colour, I (of course) already had a polish that is very, very close to Fly, that polish being Milani’s Fresh Teal, which is one of their neons. I also added Kleancolor Catch Me to my comparison, since it’s fairly similar as well.

These are all two coats, no top coat – index and ring: OPI Fly, middle and pinky: Milani Fresh Teal, thumb: Kleancolor Catch Me.

In overcast natural light:
OPI Fly, Milani Fresh Teal, Kleancolor Catch Me, overcast natural light

With flash:
OPI Fly, Milani Fresh Teal, Kleancolor Catch Me, with flash

OPI Fly, Milani Fresh Teal, Kleancolor Catch Me, with flash

OPI Fly, Milani Fresh Teal, Kleancolor Catch Me, with flash

Milani Fresh Teal is just a tiny smidgen brighter and greener than Fly. I found the Milani more opaque than the OPI at one coat (it could probably be a one-coater if you use a thick coat). Both applied really well and were self-leveling.

The Kleancolor is similar to Fresh Teal in terms of hue but is a few shades lighter (and is the most opaque of these three polishes, easily a one-coater, like a lot of Kleancolor cremes are); I just thought I’d add it for comparison’s sake.

I should probably redo this comparison when there’s sun to do a better job of showing the differences, as the flash tends to wash things out…

My preference/recommendation between Fly and Fresh Teal is Fresh Teal. Not only is it less expensive it’s also a bit more opaque and brighter.