Showing posts with label Zoya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zoya. Show all posts

19 April 2014

The Digit-al Dozen Does Texture, Day Four: Matte Velvet - Distressed and Fractured

Hi everyone! Yet again, I'm playing catch-up with my Digit-al Dozen posts. If you're interested, I hope to post my fifth and final mani this weekend.

Matte Velvet - Distressed and Fractured

15 April 2014

The Digit-al Dozen Does Texture, Day One: Pixie Dust Gradient

Hi everyone! It's that time of the month ... no, not that time of the month, that other time of the month ... Digit-al Dozen week!!


*awkward silence*



Pixie Dust gradient

This month the theme is texture. Straightforward, no? Like any other challenge, it can be interpreted in so many ways - textured polishes, painted texture, studs ... you get the picture. Okay, so you'll want to check out the inlinkz at the end of the post. We have several new members added to the mix and I'm very excited to have them in the group.

26 February 2014

Nude Hearts, Dots, and Stripes With The Zoya Naturel Collection

Hi everyone! If you haven't already done so, make sure to enter my Girly Bits giveaway. It ends in less than a week!

You may have noticed that things have been quiet here the past couple of days...well I've been working on a new Renaissance collection, in addition to having more work on my plate (day job work I mean). Lately I've been thinking of introducing bite-sized posts - good pictures, but minimal text - in addition to, or sometimes in lieu of, my regular posts. One of my goals was to post more nail art, and I think shorter posts would be good for very simple looks that need minimal explanation. And when work and life gets in the way, shorter posts - nail art or simple swatches from my collection - would keep me in the habit of posting on a regular basis. So what do you think of the idea? Yay, works for you, or nay, too much of a cop-out?

Nude Hearts, Dots, and Stripes

Okay, so back to the nail art...


05 February 2014

Zoya Naturel Comparisons AKA The Great Nude (Polish) Comparison Post

Hi everyone! You may recall a few days ago I posted a review of the Zoya Naturel collection. I was curious if a few of my other polishes were similar, and what started as one or two comparisons turned into a full blown nude polish comparison post.


Some of these comparisons are about discovering whether two similar polishes are "dupes." But in other comparisons I've done simply that - put 2-4 polishes together that are in the same colour family, to see how they look side-by-side.

31 January 2014

Zoya Naturel Collection: Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! I don't normally review Zoya products (I'm not part of their blogger network, instead I bought this for myself), but like many people I was really captivated by the new Naturel collection. I ended up buying it the day it became available from Nail Polish Canada.

It seems that nudes are going to be more and more popular this spring. For me, it's a nice change from all the bright glitters and colours that I normally wear. And for a spring collection, it's a refreshing alternative to the pastels that we tend to see emerging this time of year.

Zoya Naturel Collection

If you are on the fence about this collection, read on to hear my thoughts about the polishes and collection as a whole. I also have a bunch of comparisons that I'll be posting this weekend.

17 August 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Eleven, Polka Dots: Zoya Stunning Dots + Gradients

Hi everyone! After my design for day ten of the challenge - gradient nails - I've been wanting to do more gradients, and specifically taped gradient nails. So when figuring out what to do for today's challenge, it came to me that I could combine polka dots and gradients, while practicing my tape mani skills.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

It also was a chance to use the polishes from the Zoya Stunning collection before I start getting really distracted by the fall colours and collections. Aside from the base colour (OPI My Vampire is Buff), all polishes used for this design are from the Zoya Stunning collection: Zoya Darcy (yellow creme), Thandie (orange creme), Micky (light pink creme), Yana (darker pink creme), Josie (green creme), and Rocky (sky blue creme). The contrast to the cream-coloured base really makes the colours more vibrant and bright, at least I think so.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

To get this look: The process is a bit complicated to explain so I'll do a step-by-step:

Step #1: Paint all nails with a base of OPI My Vampire is Buff. Let dry and use a quick dry top coat but only on the ring and middle nails.

Step #2: On your pinky, index and thumb do a two-colour gradient using a makeup sponge. For my pinky and thumb I used Josie and Rocky, while my index nail is a combination of Micky and Thandie. Seal those nails with a quick dry top coat.

Step #3: Let your nails dry completely, about 30 minutes, before moving on to the taping.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

Step #4: Press pieces of tape on your skin to remove most of the tact. On your ring and middle nails tape off the bottom portion of the nail and do a two-colour gradient on top. I used Yana and Rocky on my ring fingernail and Darcy and Josie on my middle.

Step #5: Tape off the bottom portion of the fingernail on your pinky, index and thumb. Paint the exposed part with two coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff. Don't let it dry too much, you just want to do two quick coats - one right after another - and pull off the tape before the polish starts to dry.

Step #6: Finish with the dots using a tiny dotting tool, and seal design with a quick dry top coat.

Zoya Stunning dots + gradient nail art

I hope the step-by-step was clear. I feel like this design is not my usual type of work, but I rather like it. I like the bright, cheerful colours, and I like that it is different from what I normally do.

What do you think of this design? Would you be interested in a tutorial?

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24 July 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Four, Green: Roses and Stripes

Hi everyone! Do you ever have an instance where you've finished some nail art and you tell yourself, "It would be great if it weren't for XYZ..." With XYZ being some little thing that just looks off to you? I feel like I'm having those moments a lot lately. And in particular with this design. So rather than beat around the bush, I'll just get it out there... it's the stripes, they just irk me!




About this design: I've been wanting to try my hand at painting roses, and I decided to pair them with stripes for that vintage look that seems to be popular. All polishes, with the exception of the off white, are from the Zoya Stunning and Irresistible collections from this summer - the colours just seemed perfect for this design. For the roses, I used this super easy tutorial from The Nailasaurus.

Roses and stripes nail art

Roses and stripes nail art

To get this look: For the green base colour on my thumb, index and pinky, I used Zoya Josie, which applied amazingly well in two coats. I then sponged Zoya Rikki (a green foil) on the tips. For the middle and ring fingers I used OPI My Vampire is Buff (of course!) as a base. For the roses I used Zoya Micky (dusty mid-tone pink) as my base colour, Yana (darker pink/fuchsia) and Bobbi (magenta foil) for my darker areas, and My Vampire is Buff for the highlights. The leaves were done with Josie.

Roses and stripes nail art

Roses and stripes nail art

For the stripes I used Zoya Josie, Micky, and Tinsley (rose/gold foil). I also added some blue stripes with Zoya Rocky because I thought the variation would be good, but afterwards I really didn't like this - I should have stuck to pinks and greens!

Roses and stripes nail art (matte!)

I'm really happy with how the roses turned out, and I'll be doing them again. I feel like I need to practice painting stripes, I'm never happy with how they turn out. Maybe some blue stripes on Friday, eh!?

What do you think of this design? Is there a nail art technique for you that you just can't seem to get?

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04 July 2013

Fourth of July Nail Art With Shimmer Nichole

Hi everyone! Even though I live in Canada, I have family in the United States, I used to live there, and I recently became a US Permanent Resident. So to celebrate my first Independence Day as a Green Card holder, I decided to do some red, white and blue nail art.



Like a lot of people I took the opportunity to use Shimmer Polish Nichole, part of the package sent to me by Cindy of Shimmer Polish. Nichole is a clear-based glitter topper with silver, red, and blue micro and hex glitter of different sizes. Some of the small hex glitter is holographic. It really is stunning and easy to apply. On my index finger I used one coat, so there is also great glitter payoff.

Fourth of July nail art

Fourth of July nail art

The red is OPI Magazine Cover Mouse, and the blue is Zoya Song. For the white I used Sally Hansen White On. The black outlines of the stars are done with Orly Liquid Vinyl.

Fourth of July nail art

Fourth of July nail art

The stripes I did freehand of course. For the stars, I painted the star with black polish, then filled it in with white. My final step was to dab on some glitter. Everything was topped off with KBShimmer Clearly On Top, which is an excellent top coat. I've started to use it for nail art and I find it doesn't smear my designs like Seche Vite does.

Shimmer Polish is available on Etsy, from Harlow & Co., and Overall Beauty. Follow Shimmer on Facebook, and the Shimmer Polish blog for updates.

What do you think of this? Did you do some nail art for the Fourth of July?

*Shimmer Polish provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*


10 April 2013

My Sister's Nails: A Simple Spring Skittlette

Hi everyone! First of all, thank you so much for all the kind words regarding my blogging milestone yesterday. I really enjoyed reading all your comments, both your responses to the blog post and the responses left in the Rafflecopter. And thank you everyone who has participated in the contest so far!

I have another instalment of my sister's nails. If you missed the last post you can see it here. I'm thinking that this will be a regular series, that is, as long as my sister wants to come over and have me do her nails! I was only able to get iPhone photos, and it was starting to get dark, so they are not as clear as I would like. But I enjoy showing you photos of nails I've done on someone else. And it's a nice change of pace. :)

Simple spring skittlette

Since neither of us were up for a marathon manicure session, we decided on a simple skittle manicure with a lighter spring palette. It was fun to discuss ideas with her and pull out polishes to see what she liked, didn't like, etc.

Simple spring skittlette (right hand)
Simple spring skittlette (left hand)

For this design, I used OPI My Vampire is Buff on all nails except the accent nails. For that I used Zoya NYX (from the Pixie Dust collection). The glitter is Lumina Lacquer Anything, and the freehand painting was done with OPI Suzi's Hungary Again! and You're Such a BudaPest.

I love how simple and fun this was, and I can't get enough of mix and match nails! :)

What do you think? Hope you don't mind the change of blog format every now and then!

15 March 2013

My Sister's Nails and My First Galaxy Manicure!

Hi everyone TGIF!! Today's post is a little bit different. First, because these are not my nails, they belong to my favourite (and only!) sister. Second, because these aren't my usual lightbox photos, instead I'm showing you some pictures I took on my iPhone. I hope you don't mind.

Galaxy Nails

But first some back story. I'm planning to take a manicure class at a local beauty school in April, but I've never painted someone else's nails. So I asked my sister if she wanted to come over and get her nails done. So she came over and we spent a few hours together while I shaped and painted her nails. It was so much fun and it was great to see how much she liked her nails. And I feel more excited about this upcoming course...is it April yet!?

Galaxy Nails

The photos don't really do this manicure justice. In real life it had a lot of depth and complexity, which is what I love about galaxy nails. Despite the fact that they were time consuming, they weren't too difficult.

Galaxy Nails (right hand)

There are many tutorials for galaxy nails on the Internet so I won't explain how I did this in detail. Rather I'll just go through the colours I used. I started with a base of Rainbow Honey Oni, a deep brown with gold shimmer. For the deep blue patches I used Essie Midnight Cami, Orly Royal Velvet, and Zoya Crystal. I added some Zoya Carly and piCture pOlish Pshiiit for some extra colour. Side note: my sister wanted the piCture pOlish so that she could say that she has "Pshiiit all over her nails." Lol. I added some Orly Liquid Vinyl to the darker areas to give them more depth. The lighter areas were built up with Essie Nothing Else Metals, Orly Luxe, and finally with OPI My Vampire is Buff. MViB had a nice blending effect. Finally I dabbed on a pale glitter topper called Pride by The Polish Well. The stars were done with Sally Hansen White On.

Galaxy Nails (left hand)

What do you think of these? Do you like to do other people's nails? My sister is planning to come over again so I can do her nails, so expect to see her hands again on this blog! :)

23 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 16: Inspired by a Christmas Song

Hi everyone! I'm really excited about what I came up with for today's post, but I should also warn you that this post is a bit picture heavy! The theme I chose to do for today is "inspired by a Christmas song," and I'll admit that at first I was really at a loss for what to do. I'm not really into many Christmas songs, but I decided to take the song Silent Night as my inspiration. It is one of the few Christmas songs that I like.

Nativity stained glass nails

Nativity stained glass nails

When I was a child, I remember Christmas Eve being a very special time. Several years we went to midnight mass at church (I'm Roman Catholic), and afterwards my sister and I would get to stay up late and open one Christmas present early. Talk about serious anticipation! Knowing that you had to wait another several hours until morning before you got to open the rest of your presents. Sometimes I miss those moments. The holidays really change when you grow up.

But back to the nails. Taking the theme of Silent Night - the Nativity - I decided to depict it in the style of stained glass. I really love stained glass, and especially stained glass in churches! So from left to right I painted the manger, Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Star of Bethlehem, and the Chi Rho symbol.

Nativity stained glass nails

Here's the list of colours that I used:

Sephora by OPI, Living in Cin-namon (for the brown areas)
Essence A Piece of Forever (gold)
Nicole by OPI, Pretty in Plum (for the purple areas)
piCture pOlish Cosmos (blue)
Enchanted Polish Bruised Nutcracker (blue)
piCture pOlish Kryptonite (green)
Zoya Blaze (red)
Essie Sand Tropez (for flesh tones)
Sally Hansen White On (for star and Chi Rho)
Stripe Rite Black (for all outlines)

Nativity stained glass nails

I won't go into details about process because it's pretty simple. Basically I painted in all the colours and then went over everything with the Stripe Rite black. But while it wasn't complex in terms of process, it was very time consuming. I worked slow so that I could get the details right. In total, I think I spent about three hours on this mani.

Nativity stained glass nails (with top coat)

Some of these pictures are taken without a topcoat. I like this because you don't get the reflection in the photos. Others were taken with a top coat - Seche Vite. Overall I love how this mani turned out. Because I used a lot of shimmery colours, it's even more glittery and sparkly in person. It really does look like I have little stained glass nails.

What do you think?

08 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 8: Starry Night

Hey guys, happy Saturday! I'm a bit late in posting tonight because I was setting up a lightbox and learning to work with it. Once again, I encountered really dreary overcast weather earlier today, and since I had some spare time, decided to construct a makeshift lightbox. It's just a temporary solution until my soft box light tent from Cowboy Studio arrives. But if you are interested, I used this tutorial from Chalkboard Nails on how to construct one out of cardboard and tissue paper. It took like all of 10 minutes, so I was pretty pleased with how easy it was.

These photos are a bit awkward (for me) so I apologize. I am somewhat pleased though with how they turned out given that I'm so used to shooting in natural light.

Starry Night nails (lightbox)

So today's theme for the Advent Calendar Challenge was starry night. I wasn't interested in doing starry night in the style of Van Gogh. Plus I thought it would be too complicated (and I don't have all the colours). Instead I wanted to capture the glitter and glow of a crisp clear winter night.

Starry Night nails (lightbox)

For this design I used the following colours:

Essie Midnight Cami
China Glaze Dorothy Who?
Zoya Crystal
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Sephora by OPI Wild About Shimmer

Starry Night nails (lightbox)

First I started with two coats of Midnight Cami, a nice deep navy blue with a very subtle blue shimmer. Then I sponged on Dorothy Who? followed by Crystal. I did not sponge them evenly all over the nails, rather I sponged them only in spots to leave a bit of Midnight Cami untouched. At this point I had a very deep navy blue with areas of silver, gold, and light blue shimmer. I then painted the white stars and moon with White On using a detailed brush. I followed by sponging some Wild About Shimmer over the stars and moon. Wild About Shimmer is a golden opalescent shimmer, but unfortunately it is barely discernible. I think next time I would add a touch of gold to the stars.

Starry Night nails (lightbox)

I'm rather happy with how this turned out. It looks similar to galaxy nails, but perhaps not as complex, as galaxy nails tend to use more colours.

So what do you think about these? How about the photos? I know they need a bit more work, but hopefully I'm on the right track. :)


01 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 1: Red!

Hi everyone! As I explained yesterday, I'm starting a new nail challenge today. The Advent Calendar Nail Challenge was put together by Kristi of Happy Hands Nail Polish. Basically a nail challenge, as I understand it, is a list of manis that you will do if you take on the challenge. Typically there's no prizes, rather it's something that you do to challenge yourself and to force yourself to try new things. Many challenges have themes (i.e. holidays, summertime, etc.), others, like the 31 Day Challenge, are more general. You don't have to do every day of the nail challenge, and often you can go at your own pace.


For this challenge, my first one, I'm going to try to do all 24 manis, and to do them on the day they are listed. It's going to be a challenge for sure, because for some of them, I have no idea what to do ("something cozy"...uh...socks?!).

Because I'm pretty busy for the next couple of days, I'm going to probably stick to very simple things. So it's good that the first six days are simply colours. :D

So onto my mani. Day one is red...well, you can't pick a more holiday-esque colour than that! I pulled out a few of my red untrieds (there were about six or seven), but I finally settled on Zoya Blaze from the recently released Ornate collection. Not only is it an amazing colour but it's one of the few polishes I bought from this year's holiday collections.

Zoya Blaze indoors under natural light


I know this polish has been on so many blogs lately, but please just indulge me and let me go on about how great it is. Blaze is a gorgeous berry red with a scattered holo shimmer. Due to the overcast Canadian light I was only able to capture some of the holo-ness (yeah I know that's not a word) but you can see it has a pink, red, and purple shimmer even indoors. The polish is a must have simply for its colour, I love that it's a cool-toned red at a time of year when you see a lot of cherry/warm-toned reds. I feel that this is a flattering colour that will look good on a lot of people.


But not only is the colour awesome, the application was absolutely flawless. This is two coats and I found it to be easy to apply, even, and completely streak free. It dried to a perfect smooth finish. Furthermore, I hardly needed any clean up, and where I did need to do a bit of clean up, I found that the polish left no staining on my nails or skin.

Zoya really hit it out of the park with this one, and I can see why this colour has been so popular. Perhaps if you haven't picked it up, maybe I have convinced you to give it a second chance.


Have you picked up Zoya Blaze? What do you think of it?
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