Oh, hello there! Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, happy every other holiday I've missed since my last post. I have a very good reason for my extended absence. I started a new website! The project that I have vaguely mentioned a few times here on VV launched in mid-December and I have been putting all my time and energy into it. This site has been a dream long time coming. While I love nails and nail art it is only a tiny fraction of the things that I love and the things that I am interested in talking about. My new site, The Mod Woman, is a lifestyle site dedicated to all the things that I love and I know a lot of women in my demographic (single, 30's, awesome) do as well. On my new site I get personal, and I also talk about fashion, beauty and pop culture. I simply didn't have the energy to focus on both sites at the same time and so I let this one go for a bit. I have been blogging on this site going on 7 years now. It's been a true blast. But as I look to where I see my life and blogging future I just want....more. And I am not saying all of this to say that Valiantly Varnished is going away. It isn't. I honestly don't know what will happen with this site. Right now I am playing it by ear. But I also didn't want to leave things hanging here. So in short: Valiantly Varnished is not going away. It is going on a bit of a hiatus (which it's technically already been on). The site will still be active and once I feel like everything with The Mod Woman is growing at a pace I am happy with, I will circle back to VV and see how I feel. It took me a while to get around to writing this post because I have seen so many of my favorite nail bloggers shutter their blogs and it always made me feel so sad and like the niche was shriveling up. I can't speak to whether that is true or not (though it kind of feels that way). I don't like to think of things as the end but rather the beginning of something new. I have so many dreams and plans for The Mod Woman. And while I know some of you may not find it to be your cup of tea, I hope those of you that do will join me on this new journey I'm on. It's scary! I have built up a loyal following here on VV and it's daunting to start something from scratch. But it's also really exciting and it has re-ignited a passion in me that had been a bit dormant for awhile. So my amazing VV peeps this is goodbye...for the moment (I do have some last reviews that I hopefully will be able to get up sometime soon!) Come on over to The Mod Woman and hang out with me :)
Oh, hey remember me? I allegedly blog on this site from time to time lol. I'm excited to be posting today. It's been over a month and I've been itching to post. Real life has been fairly hectic along with the project I am working on that should be done and ready to go by the end of this month. By the way- today is the first day of December. Wha-? How Sway? How? Where has this year gone? I feel like Fall just arrived and we are already into the Holiday season. And with that comes winter and holiday collections! Today I have the Zoya Winter/Holiday collection, Party Girls to review for you.
The Swatch Details:
For each swatch I applied two coats with no top or base coat - with the exception of Delaney and Nadia where I applied three coats.
First up is Kelsey, a vibrant blue-pased pink cream. I at first was a bit confused about this color being in a winter collection. Pinks like this scream Spring/Summer to me. But I think the cool undertones make it work. The formula for this was good. I had no issues with application.
Ming is the first of the two red in this collection. I wore this color for about a week when I received the polishes. I usually don't go for these cool-toned reds as I'm not always a fan of how they look on me but this one was very pretty. It's a prefect Holiday-season red. The formula was on the thin side but not unmanageable and I was still able to reach full opacity with two coats.
Solstice is a coral-pink infused with flecks of gold glitter. This one surprised me. I was pretty meh about it in the bottle but it came alive once applied to my nails. The formula is good - not thick of thin and had decent application. Does this color scream Winter or Holiday? Not so much. But this is a surprise fave for me.
Landon is a dusky plum-based purple cream. The formula for this one was similar to Kelsey. Easy to apply with no issues. I'm honestly pretty meh about this one. It's a pretty purple but nothing special.
Fallon is a fuchsia pink metallic. The formula was decent. A tad thin but easy to work with. This was another one that was pretty meh for me. It's veering into frosted territory with the finish which as you all know, isn't my cup of tea.
Danielle is a dusky blue cream. This formula was pretty much identical to Landon's. I feel the same way about this one as I do about Landon as well. Pretty but a bit meh.
Sheri is the second red cream of the collection. This was one is a bit deeper and richer. Unfortunately the formula wasn't that great. It was incredibly sheer, runny and patchy and even after two coats my nail line was still visible (as you can see in the photos). I prefer red cream polishes to have thicker and more opaque formulas.
Tawny is a rosy-toned copper. This colors is so pretty! The bottle just does not do it justice. The formula was pretty good as well. Not thick or thin and no issues with application. If you are looking for an alternative to gold polish for the Holiday season this would be a great option!
Isadora is a deep rich purple metallic with blue and pink reflects. Guys. This color. OMG. I literally gasped when I applied it. It reminds so much of Illamasqua Baptiste, only slightly lighter in tone. The formula was a bit thin but I was still able to achieve opacity with two coats. This one is a stunner and a perfect winter purple.
Zoya describes Nadia as a "disco-gold" metallic topper. I would agree with this. They also describe it as "buildable", which I would not agree with. The formula is simply too thin and yet gel-like for buildable coverage IMO. I used three coats of Nadia in the pics and as you can see my nails were still pretty visible underneath. I would not apply more than three coats as it would become thick and gloopy looking. The coats simply don't apply well over one another. But - this would look amazing over navy blue or black or even a dark green or red.
And now we come to my least favorite polish of the entire collection. Delaney is described as a "multichromatic" with a metallic flip. Yeah... it just looks like a purple frost to me. I didn't see any shift on my nail (though you can kind of see it in the bottle). Not to mention that formula is just not good. It was incredibly thin and runny and even with three coats I felt like I still wasn't able to build it up to full opacity.
And last but not least is another fave for me, Blake. Blake is described as a deep sapphire blue. I would describe it more as a deep blackened blue with green and gold flecks. In the bottle in certain light it either looks green or black. I had no idea this color was actually a dark blue until I applied it. And wow! This color kind of blew me away. When it hits the light the reflects really sparkle. My only gripe is that in low light the flecks are pretty much non-existent and it looks like you are just wearing a dark black or green polish. The formula was on the thin side but applied well and was opaque in two coats.
So, what do you all think? Any must-haves for you in this collection? Let me know in the comments! My faves are Tawny, Solstice, Blake and Isadora.
The Party Girls collection is currently available on the Zoya website. Each bottle retails for $10
Hello strangers! It's been a minute. I would love to say that I was sooo busy and couldn't sit down to blog but my absence was much more annoying than that. Early September I had a nail break. Nothing huge but it meant I wouldn't be able to blog for a bit while it grew out to a decent length that I could actually take pictures and my nails not look crazy. Which it did and I was able to post my Zoya Sophisticates swatches & review. Literally a few days after that I suffered another nail break - on the same nail - but this time it was damn near catastrophic. And painful. I split my nail (while randomly reaching for a file folder at my desk and banging my hand - nails first - on my wire inbox) straight across - below the tip of my nail. It was such a bad break that my finger was actually sore for days afterward. I couldn't use nail polish remover because it stung so bad. I couldn't do anything for the nail really other than wrap my finger in a band aid until the soreness went away.
In that time I was really missing nail art and nail polish. Especially since on September 23rd I had the pleasure of going to the Chicago PolishCon at Navy Pier. If you've never heard of PolishCon it is a nail polish convention featuring tons of indie polish brands. This was my first time going and I had an amazing time. I got to meet the owners of some of my favorite indie polish brands and I spent waaay too much money!
My nail has grown out a bit, but is still basically being held together by nail glue and prayers. But I am finally able to do my nails and do a bit of nail art which I did over the weekend (yay!). I decided to use a bunch of the polishes I purchased at PolishCon for this Fall nail art design.
UberChic Beauty Lovely Leaves Plate 01
Winstonia Berry Fine Liner
Polishes used (a ton!):
LynBDesigns Why Not Take Olive Me (base color)
For Stamping Decals:
Painted Polish Stamped in Mustard & Stamped in Moss
Different Dimensions Timeless Treasures
Hit the Bottle As Black as Night
KBShimmer Clearly on Top
Started with two coats of Why Not Take Olive Me. I then used my standard nail decal technique: I stamped my leaves image with As Black As Night and used my liner brush to paint in the leaves. I applied top coat over the image and allowed to dry a bit on the stamper. Once dry (but a bit tacky) I gently lifted the decal off the stamper and applied to my nails. I sealed everything with top coat and cleaned up the edges with acetone and my clean-up brush.
Below are a few random pics from PolishCon. I wish I had taken more but I was too busy shopping!
While this Summer certainly seemS to have whizzed by, I am actually excited for Fall. I'm not a fan of the falling temps (and here in Chicago we get about a week's worth of Fall weather before it's officially Winter), I do love the chance to wear sweaters and boots (two of my faves), sip on a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and light some Fall-scented candles. I also love Fall nail polish collections, which usually feature some of my favorite colors and finishes. Unfortunately this season, I haven't seen a ton of nail polish that's gotten me really excited. Everything is sort of same-y, same-y and safe. I keep looking for the Fall colors that I love: mustard yellows, burnt oranges, rich greens. But so far? Nothing. This year's fall wish list is rather small compared to previous years. But there are some really unique colors and finishes on it. ILNP has really been blowing me away with their toppers and their Fall collection is really pretty. OPI's Iceland Collection is overall pretty meh, in my opinion. Except for one color, Turn on the Northern Lights - which is STUNNING. I also have my eye on two China Glaze polishes that are right up my alley.
Originally posted: November 12, 2014
Bundle Monster Plate 510
China Glaze Don't Get Derailed
NY & Co. Millionaire
KB Shimmer Clearly on Top