Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Post: Nail Care to Help Boost Confidence

 Hello Lab Partners!

Today, we have a special post by Jackie Clark, who the outreach coordinator at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Nail polish may seem frivolous to some, but we at The Polish Lab know that nail care can serve very important purposes, one of which is helping those with serious illnesses to feel better about themselves. We're pleased to have Jackie share some tips on how you can use your love of nail care to help those suffering from illnesses, and feel free to comment with any additional tips or experiences you've had with using nail polish to help boost someone's confidence.

Nail Care to Help Boost Confidence
By: Jackie Clark

One of the most difficult trials in life can be facing a possibly terminal illness. Illnesses such as cancer, including mesothelioma, can bring a person’s self confidence to a plummeting free fall. Given the treatments as well as their side effects and the concerns over what sort of mesothelioma life expectancy they may be looking at, it’s not a surprise that many women have a tendency to allow their selves to slip in certain areas of their appearance. One area that tends to be overlooked in such cases is nail care.

Nail care may not seem like such a large area of consideration when a person is suffering from cancer, the fact is that it’s the small touches, such as having attractive nails, which can help boost a woman’s spirits in an otherwise bleak time. While this is why it’s so important for a woman suffering from an illness to take the time for her self to be pampered, even if it is just taking the time to polish manicure and polish her nails. While this may seem like a trivial thing, the fact is that the little bit of time that it takes can make a big difference in how a woman suffering from such an illness can feel; especially during a time when her morale needs all the boosting it can get.

Taking the time needed for nail pampering isn’t as difficult as one might think. Many believe that nail care means going to a salon for a full manicure and pedicure, but it’s easy to make a fun girls’ day out of it with friends and family members. Imagine the excitement of having a group of female friends and family members together for a girls’ day of beauty. It’s simple to organize: simply get together a set of manicure and pedicure kits for all of your guests, and have everyone bring their favorite shades of nail polish and foot soak; you’ll also want to have everyone bring their own tub for soaking their feet. When the day arrives, simply enjoy yourselves-- and the best part is that you have helped her, a loved one, to feel a little better about their situation and given them a boost of confidence. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mystery Mani Revealed

Hello Lab Partners,

In case you missed the answer to yesterday's Mystery Mani Monday, the polish was Cult Nails Time Traveler, a beautiful one-coater!

Cult Nails Time Traveler

Cult Nails Time Traveler with Zoya Trixie

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mystery Mani Monday: Navy Blue

Happy Monday, Lab Partners!

For today's Mystery Mani, we have a one-coater navy blue. Although it's from a recently released collection, this polish makes me feel as if I've been transported back to my high school days because it's one of my school's colors.
Today's Mystery Mani is a one-coater . . . it stains the skin a bit, as you can see, but it's worth it!

Today's Mystery Mani polish, along with Zoya Trixie and nail gems.

Today's Mystery Mani polish, along with Zoya Trixie and nail gems.

You know the way it works--there's a little clue hidden in this post. Submit your guesses by 7 pm Pacific Time (10 pm EST) by commenting on this post. You may submit more than one answer, but only your final guess will be your official submission. Those who guess correctly will receive an extra entry in our next giveaway. IF THE NAME UNDER WHICH YOU COMMENT DIFFERS FROM YOUR GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT NAME, PLEASE STATE YOUR GFC NAME WITH YOUR GUESS. Only guesses received via comment on this post will count.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Five Finger Friday: Jade Greens

Happy Friday, Lab Partners!

Welcome to another Five Finger Friday. This week, I continue to work my way through the greens by focusing on five jade green polishes: Make Up Store Paula, e.l.f Teal Blue, Julep Emilie, Picture Polish Jade, and LA Colors Palm Tree:

Make Up Store Paula
Starting on the thumb, I used Make Up Store Paula, a gorgeous, streak-free one-coater with a cream finish. I'm in love. Admittedly, polishes from Make Up Store, a Swedish company, aren't terribly easy to come by. You can't purchase from their web site, so unless you're near a store that carries their polishes, your best bet is to place a phone order. In the U.S., call 303 708 0086 to reach the Denver/Lone Tree, Colorado store, which is currently the only U.S. stockist of Make Up Store polishes. This polish is worth the effort!

On my index finger, you see e.l.f. Teal Blue, which isn't very blue at all. Yes, next to the other greens, you can see a blue undertone, but this polish is distinctly more green than blue. In fact, it looks slightly bluer in the photo than in real life. I was skeptical of this polish, but--WOW!--was I ever surprised! You're looking at one gorgeous, streak-free coat. Not bad for a polish that normally retails for $2, eh? I only purchased e.l.f. polishes after they'd been reformulated, and then only when the wonderful Rebecca from rebecca likes nails gave her recommendations.

From L to R: LA Colors Palm Tree, Picture Polish Jade, Julep Emilie, e.l.f. Teal Blue

Continuing on to my middle finger, you'll find Julep Emilie. It's the darkest of the five polishes--definitely a dark jade that might be classified as evergreen.  Two coats gives a beautiful, streak-free finish.

On my ring finger is Picture Polish Jade, which is more mint than jade This one has some shimmer to it. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this one. The application was okay, but it was a bit streaky on the first coat. It wasn't the glorious application I experienced with Picture Polish Wisteria. To make sure it wasn't a fluke, I later tried Jade on with a different base coat, with the same results. Again, the application is okay, but I expect more from Picture Polish.

Finally, my pinkie features LA. Colors Palm Tree. For some reason, I often wear this one on my toes. You're looking at two coats. It's nice--not glorious like Make Up Store Paula or e.l.f. Teal Blue, but nice.

If I had to pick a favorite of this bunch, I'd go with e.l..f. Teal Blue, followed closely by Make Up Store Paula. Which one do you like best?

Until next time, sending you lab love,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Splatter Mani with Simple Tutorial--Photo Heavy

Hello Lab Partners,

First, I'd like to wish happy birthday to my hubby, who probably isn't reading this, but in case he is . . . Happy Birthday!

Yesterday, I showed you Zoya Haley. After several days, it was wearing so well and I loved it so much I didn't want to take it off, so I decided to do a holiday splatter mani using Haley as the base color:

If you've never done a splatter mani, it's a fun, easy way to add some interest to your nails. I particularly like doing a splatter after I've been wearing a polish for several days and am ready for a change but not ready to remove the polish, as was the case with Haley. I've broken down the procedure for doing a splatter mani into several easy steps.

  • An old towel, paper towels or newspapers
  • Scotch tape
  • Drinking straws (I suggest one for each color you'll use for splattering). Medium sized straws work best--neither the jumbo kind, nor the little stirrer type.
  • A paper or plastic plate
  • Your regular mani supplies (base coat, remover for clean up, top coat, etc)
  • Polish to use as base color
  • Polishes for splattering. For this mani, I used two colors: Sinful Colors Envy and Zoya Snowwhite. But you can use more colors. Or you can splatter with only one polish.

1) Cover your working surface with an old towel, paper towels, or newspaper. This is a messy process!

2) Make sure your base color is completely dry before doing the splatter portion of the mani. As I said, I usually splatter a few days after I've put on the base color.

3) Once base color is completely dry, put Scotch tape around the side and bottom edges of your nails on one hand to make the process less messy. You will work one hand at a time. In other words, you will complete the entire splatter process on one hand and allow that hand to dry before splattering onto the nails of the second hand.
Skin around nail edges taped in preparation for a splatter mani
Straw has been dipped in polish, which will be splattered on nails.

4) Dip a straw into the first polish to splatter. You can try pouring a little polish on your paper plate, but I have greater success when I dip the straw straight into the bottle. If you do dip into the bottle, make sure you change to a new straw for each splatter color to prevent mixing your polish colors. If you only have one straw, you can try cleaning it very well, but it's not an easy task.

5) Using a short, strong puff of breath, do a few "test splatters" of polish onto your paper plate before splattering onto your nails, redipping the straw into polish as needed.

6) Once you've splattered all nails of one hand with the first splatter color, move on to the next color, if using one.
It's a messy process . . .

A really messy process!

7) When all splattering is complete on the first hand, remove tape, apply top coat, and allow the splatter polish to dry.

8) Repeat process on other hand.

9) Have fun cleaning up the mess you've made!

Post splatter mani mess

All cleaned up!

I like this one because you can see my hand reflected in an ornament. 

And there you have it!

I hope you've enjoyed this splatter mani edition of The Polish Lab!

Until next time,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bench Work: Zoya Haley

Hello Lab Partners,

Today, I have an oldie but a goodie for you: Zoya Haley. Even though this isn't a newly released polish, it's a new acquisition for me. I've been in my red polish phase lately, and Haley is my new favorite!

Haley applies very smoothly. You're looking at two coats of what Zoya calls a "pin-up girl classic." As my husband put it, Haley is "bright without being garish." Not bad from the hubster, eh?  One of my friends (you know who you are) feels matronly when she wears red polish. Not me! I feel retro glam, especially when wearing this red!


Haley wears wonderfully. After three days, I had only minor tip wear. I'm very hard on my polish, so three days is an eternity for me!

So what do you think of my new favorite red?

Until next time, sending Lab Love your way!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sparkle Saturday: Essence Edward

Happy Saturday, Lab Partners!

As you may remember from my post on Butter London's Tea with the Queen, it makes great underwear for showing off a glitter top coat, so here's Tea with the Queen again--only this time it's been embellished with Edward from the Essence Bella and Edward twin set. Although I love the look of Edward layered over Bella, wearing a nude polish as underwear certainly makes it easier to see Edward's square and smaller round teal and green glitter particles. And if you look closely, you might catch a holo microglitter or two.

Seeing this glitter on top of Tea with the Queen reminds me of--brace yourself--dragon eggs. Not that I've ever seen a dragon egg, but this is how I imagine them: peach with green glitter. A strange association, I know. But I'm always coming up with strange associations. Last night, I dreamed of a bracelet with a blackened purple stone, surrounded by bamboo. In my dream, I planned to fashion an entire accessory collection around the bracelet and call it Viet Nam Vamp. Obviously, someone's been watching too much Project Accessory!

So what do you think of dragon eggs aka Tea with Edward?

Hope you're having a lovely weekend. Incidentally, I'm out of town for the weekend, so my apologies if I'm unable to respond to your comments until I return home.

Until next time, sending you lab love,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bench Work: Tea with the Queen

Hello Lab Partners,

For those of you who didn't see the answer to this weeks' Mystery Mani Monday, the polish was Finger Paints Vintage Velvet.

Now, to today's order of business . . . .

As you may recall, I'm on a perpetual search for a nude polish that doesn't make my hands look like death. Today, my quest continues with Butter London Tea with the Queen, a peachy nude.

"Tea" is about as close to my skin color as it gets, giving me somewhat of a "mannequin" hands look, which I like on some people, but usually not on me. Even though I feel my hands are somewhat invisible while wearing Tea, I don't dislike this polish. I like that it has enough peach to keep it from clashing with my skin, and if I were wanting to go with a natural look, this could very well be the polish I'd go with. In fact, because my nails tend to be stained from polish (you know how it is), I never wear clear polish, so this is as close to au naturel as I get. And the longer I wore this polish, the more I liked it! Tea would make a great base color for showing off a glitter top coat, so you can expect to see it as underwear for various glitters.

So what do you think of Tea with the Queen and my semi-mannequin hands?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yesterday's Mystery Mani Revealed

Hello Lab Partners,

Just in case you missed the answer to yesterday's Mystery Mani Monday, the polish used was Finger Paints Vintage Velvet. Thanks to those of you who played along!
Finger Paints Vintage Velvet with Isadora Deep Red as Accent

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mystery Mani Monday: A Medium Cool Green

Hello Lab Partners,

It's time for another Mystery Mani Monday (MMM). Today, I think I might actually be able to stump you with this cool-toned, medium green. Although it's hip and modern, this smooth, soft green also has a classic feel. It reminds me of the "old days," when I was a child wearing a plush green dress for Christmas.

With Isadora Deep Red as accent.

 There's a clue hidden in the description somewhere. Please submit your guess by leaving a comment by 7 pm Pacific (10 pm Eastern) time--please note that we're closing this week's MMM a bit earlier than usual. If the name under which you comment differs from your Google Friend Connect name, please leave your GFC, as well. Those who guess correctly will receive an extra entry in our next giveaway. You're welcome to guess more than once, but only your last guess will count.  We'll post the answer both here and on our Facebook page.

With a dove added on accent nail and a coat of Nubar 2010.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Five Finger Friday: Warm Reds

Happy Friday, Lab Partners!

It's time for another 5FF, and given that it's the holiday season, I thought it might be a good time to look at some reds. Specifically, warm reds. In today's line-up: Butter London Old Blighty, No Miss Satsumo Salsa, RGB Coral, Zoya Tamsen, and Zoya Carrie Ann. You also get to see my broken nail on my index finger. :(

From L to R: Zoya Carrie Ann (on poor broken nail. Cry with me), Zoya Tamsen, RBG Coral, No Miss Satsumo Salsa
Starting with that broken index fingernail: Zoya Carrie Ann, a gorgeous, metallic one-coater. Yes, that's just one coat! Isn't it gorgeous?! Just on the warm side--not too orangey, for those of you who aren't into orange-reds.

Next, on the middle finger, one of my personal faves, Zoya Tamsen, a cream that applies super-smoothly. You're looking at two coats, but I could've gotten away with one. This warm red has a slightly brown undertone, making it lean toward brick red.

On the ring finger is RGB Coral. There's quite a bit of orange in this one (I love it). It's another super-smooth cream that could be a one-coater. I applied two coats.

On the pink finger is No Miss Satsumo Salsa. A word about No Miss: You can purchase these polishes on the No Miss web site. I buy mine at Whole Foods Market. No Miss is a Florida-based company, so all the polishes are named after cities here in the Sunshine State. I only own a couple of these puppies. My experience with Melbourne Mint (which I featured in another 5FF) was wonderful. It applied like a dream. But would Satsumo Salsa be as impressive? Well, you're looking at one coat. One, gloriously smooth, streak-free, shimmery coat. Actually, this polish is pinker than it appears in the bottle, so once seeing it on, I really wouldn't classify it as a warm red. But it applied so perfectly that I just had to share it with you!

On the thumb, I'm wearing Butter London Old Blightly, a distinctly brown-red. It has that vintage red look that reminds me of Amelia Earhart. Maybe that's a strange association, but there you have it. You're looking at two coats, but I could have gotten away with one. Something interesting about this polish--it applies very smoothly, yet a bit unevenly. It's not that the polish streaks or drags; it's more like the color pools a bit. It's nothing major, though, so don't let me scare you away from this polish. It's still wonderful!

So which is my favorite? Oh, that's a tough decision. I love them all. But I think I'm going to give the slight nod to my old standby, Tamsen. Maybe.

How 'bout you, readers? What are your thoughts on this group of polishes?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Benchwork: Scotch Naturals Troya

Hello Lab Parnters!

Have you missed us? Things are busy this time of year, so please bear with us as with try to balance blogging life with the rest of our lives!

So, it's the holiday season--time for me to bring out my red polish! Okay, I'm not going to lie, I've been in a red polish mood ever since I put on Cult Nails Clairvoyant for a Mystery Mani Monday a couple of weeks ago. Today, I wanted to show you something a little different--it's Scotch Naturals Troya, a warm red. So what's different about it? Well, Scotch Naturals is a water-based polish line. It applies differently from the polishes you're used to--you know how you typically want your nail surface to be as clean as possible before painting (I go over them with Zoya Remove+ before applying polish)? Well, when using a water-based polish, nails need to have plenty of moisture (think oil) in them for this polish to adhere properly, so Scotch recommends buffing oil into the nails first. Do NOT strip them with remover before polishing. Also,  although Scotch Naturals polish dries quickly to the touch, it must cure overnight and the nails must be kept out of water until the polish cures.

I found this polish applied somewhat unevenly, and dried somewhat matte, similar to the look of watercolor paints. For shine, I topped Troya with Scotch Naturals On the Rocks Top Coat. The finished look was a gorgeous tomato-red.

But how would it wear on my notoriously dry nails? I'd tried a different color of Scotch Naturals on my wretchedly dry toenails before, and the next day, it came off in my yoga class. My yoga mat was so covered in shards of polish, that I had it sticking to my skin and in my hair. Not pretty. So how would Scotch Naturals wear on my fingernails? I'll let you be the judge; here's Troya the next morning--after less than 12 hours of wear. I hadn't even left the house yet!

Water-based polish cannot be removed with regular polish remover. One option is to buy Sotch Naturals Soy Polish Remover. Another is to use rubbing alcohol, which is what I did, after soaking my nails in warm water, which makes the removal of water-based polishes easier.

I've heard of other folks having much better success with Scotch Naturals, and I believe if I kept using these polishes consistently, my nails would become less dry and water-based polish would consequently adhere better. But I don't have the patience for that, so I'll stick with traditional polishes. However, if you're truly looking for the most natural polish possible, you might want to try Scotch Naturals. At $14.99 per bottle, however, you'd have to be truly dedicated to natural alternatives. If so, you can purchase Scotch Naturals by visiting their web site, or you can visit their web site to search for retailers near you.

A final note: Scotch Naturals also has a children's polish line, called Hopscotch.

I hope you've found this post informative! Until next time, sending you lab love!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Lab Will be Closed for the Holiday

Hello Lab Partners,

Even a lab closes for the holidays! We're taking some time off to spend with family--and to give our nails and cuticles a much-needed rest. For those of you in the U.S. celebrating Thanksgiving, we hope you have an enjoyable one.

Ace and Allison 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Polish Personals: Comfort Polish

Hello Lab Partners!

It's been a while since we've done a polish personals post, so I thought we'd have one today. This past week got me thinking about how I turn to certain polishes, namely Zoyas, when I'm feeling stressed, upset, or generally icky. I'm not sure why I turn specifically to Zoyas, other than they're the first brand I started seriously collecting. I had polishes from other brands before I ever had my first Zoya, but when I really got into polish, my Zoya collection is what grew fastest. Last weekend, I was having a wear-comfy-clothes-stay-inside-and-burn-gingerbread-candle kind of weekend. Gone was my lust for glitter or funky colors--I just wanted the comfort of Zoya Natalie on my fingers. Forget comfort food; just give me my comfort polish.

Zoya Natalie

So I'm curious--do you have a certain polish you turn to when you're feeling blah? Maybe a certain color family or a certain brand? If so, why do you think you turn to those polishes in particular?

Sending you lab love,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bench Work: A-England Elaine

Hello Lab Partners!

Before we get down to business, let me fill you in on the color used in yesterday's Mystery Mani. It was none other than Cult Nails Quench. Each week, we post the answer to the MMM in the comments section of the MMM post and on our FB page.

Now let's settle down to today's "Benchwork," a review of one of my relatively new a-england polishes. Fairly recently, I  purchased three a-englands from Llarowe, and for my first time out with them, I chose Elaine. I've been slightly obsessed with purple polishes lately, and the description of Elaine as "smoky, voilet-amethyst" sold me.

Elaine applies like a dream--totally streak-free and nearly opaque in one coat, completely opaque in two coats. The brush provides great control. I really like the color, but it's far more blue than I anticipated. In fact, in most lighting, it appears more of a very dark blue, with little to no violet. In other lighting, Elaine is a dark plum. It definitely applies slightly darker than it appears in the bottle:

A-England Elaine. Inside with flash. Here you can see that the color often appears very dark blue.
A-England Elaine. Here in natural light, Elaine is more plum, closer to the shade in the bottle.
Conclusions: Although Elaine isn't exactly what I expected, I adore it nevertheless. It's a great vampy, plum polish for fall and winter. If other a-englands apply anything like this one, I'll be thrilled.

What do you think of Elaine?

Sending lab love,


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Follow-Up to Your Comments on Our Last Giveaway

Hello Dear Readers--

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all your wonderful comments and questions you submitted on the entry form for our last giveaway. We do read the comments carefully and take note of what you say. Here's what we learned:

  • You liked the Spinal Tap theme (credit goes to Ace for that one!)
  • Many of you are particularly fond of Zoya polishes. Good to know, as we have a lot of Zoyas! I tend to think of Zoya as my "comfort" polish. You know how people have comfort foods they turn to when they're feeling under the weather or have had a rough day? When it comes to nail polish, that's how Zoya is for me. Not that I only wear Zoyas when I'm feeling icky . . . but I do tend to go to them when I just want to curl up in jammies and lounge around my house, burning a gingerbread candle. Hmmm . . . sounds like a topic for a future Polish Personals, no?
  • Some readers want to know how to get their polish to dry more quickly. We'll address that in a future post.
Two final points of note:
  • There was a question on today's Mystery Mani Monday post about when we post the answer. Each week, shortly after 9pm Pacific (midnight Eastern time) we post the answer to the MMM both in the comments section of the MMM post and on our FB page.
  • Would you like us to periodically feature a Q&A post? 
If you ever have questions or comments that you'd like us to address in a future post, please feel free to email us at We can't promise that all questions will be turned into a post, but there's a good chance!

Thoughts? Please comment below! And as always, thank you for following us!


Mystery Mani Monday: A Classic Red

Hello Lab Partners!

It's time to start our week off with another Mystery Mani Monday! Today, we're coming to you with a classic red. I don't wear red polish very often, but lately I've been craving sexy, shiny red. This one satisfied my metaphorical thirst!
Do you recognize this color? There's a little hint hidden in this post somewhere! If you have a guess, please submit it by leaving a comment. You're welcome to submit more than one guess, but only your final guess will count as your official answer. Anyone who comments with the correct polish name will receive one additional entry in our next giveaway. We don't have a current giveaway, but rest assured, we diligently keep track of these bonus entries. For your answer to count, it must be received by 9pm Pacific Time (midnight Eastern). Please remember--if your GFC name differs from the name under which you comment, please leave your GFC name in your comment with your answer.

Now, bring on the guesses!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sparkle Saturday Meets 11 Week Mani Challenge

Hello Lab Partners,

This is week four of the 11-week mani challenge. The prompt for the week: a zebra or other striped mani OR a mani with the colors of your favorite sports team or alma mater. Before checking to see what the theme of the week was, I had already decided I wanted to do a mani with ring and thumb as accent fingers, which seemed to fit perfectly when I saw the prompt. Initially, I wanted to go with the colors of the Orlando Magic, but the thought was too depressing given the current state of NBA affairs. Instead, I went with the black and gold of my alma mater, the University of Central Florida. Simple enough: black on most fingers, with gold on the ring fingers and thumbs. As I was selecting a gold polish, my eyes landed on my brand new Color Club Gingerbread from the Beyond the Mistletoe collection. A-ha! The perfect opportunity to try this holographic gold glitter! On all fingers, I applied two coats of Zoya Raven. On the thumbs and ring fingers, I added two coats of Gingerbread:

Inside, artificial light
Inside, with flash
Inside, with flash

I took a couple of flash photos to show how the holo glitter lights up when it's hit by direct light.

In case you're wondering how difficult this glitter was to remove . . . I used the foil method on it and had no problem!

Until next time, sending lab love your way!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Finter Friday: Bronzes/Coppers

Happy Friday, Lab Partners!

Inside, artificial light

It's time for another 5FF! Today we'll take a look at some polishes in the bronze/copper family--quintessential fall polishes. For today's line-up I selected Julep Zoe, Zoya Jinx, Sephora by OPI Rumba Romance , butter  London The Old Bill, and e.l.f. Copper. A little note on The Old Bill: I sort of cheated with this one. I had another copper picked out to try, but I'd been curious about whether The Old Bill would lean towards bronze once applied, so I threw it in the mix. Did it, in fact, show bronze on the nail? Stay tuned, dear readers. Each one of these polishes is a metallic, my favorite finish. A brief aside: for some reason I'll never quite grasp, before I tried metallics I thought I wouldn't like them. What was I thinking?! Now, moving on to today's lineup, I give you coppers and bronzes:

Inside, artificial light

Inside, with flash
Pinkie: Zoya Jinx. This is one of my favorite polishes to wear on my toes. It's a true copper that applies beautifully and streak-free, providing opacity with one coat. However, I chose to apply a second coat.

On the ring finger: Sephora by OPI Rumba Romance. I was concerned on the first coat--this polish applied with a bit of streaking and was quite sheer. On the second coat, however, it was opaque, providing a smooth bronze finish.

The middle finger: Here's where I slipped in that "questionably" bronze polish. Would it appear bronze on the nail? Almost . . . but not quite. It's distinctly a dark champagne, which isn't usually my thing, but I actually like this one--as neutrals go. It's a little darker than many champagne polishes, and the fact that it's metallic makes it more appealing to me. It applied beautifully, and was nearly opaque in one streak-free coat and completely opaque in two.

On the pointer finger: e.l.f. Copper. Rebecca from Rebecca Likes Nails recommended this one. On the first coat, I was doubting her recommendation because it looked as if Copper would be too shear for my liking. But on the second coat, it was gorgeously opaque. Lesson learned--don't doubt Rebecca

Inside, with flash
 On the thumb: Julep Zoe. This is one of the polishes I received in my first Maven box three months ago. I knew by the looks of it that I'd love it, as long as it applied well. Fortunately, it applies beautifully--entirely streak-free and opaque in one coat, although I chose to apply a second coat. As you can see, there's quite a bit of orange to this one.

So there you have it! Honestly, I like this group better than I thought I would! These polishes blend color with neutrality, making them quite versatile for any season, but particularly appropriate for fall.

What do you think of these five colors? Which one is your favorite?

Until next time, sending you lab love,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tag Team Thursday: CQ Idyllic

Hello Lab Partners!

It's time for another Tag Team Thursday, when the two of us here at the lab each try the same polish and tell you what we think of it. This week, we wanted to try an autumnal color, so we went for CQ Idyllic. Will we reach the same conclusions?


In the bottle, Idyllic appears bronze, which is a nice fall color, so I was looking forward to trying this polish. It applied well and was nearly opaque in one coat. It was a little streaky on the first coat, but the finish in two coats was nice. This is a duochrome that's much more exciting on the nails than in the bottle. It's bronze in some light, more of a burnished wine in others. It reminds me of autumn leaves. I really like this color--a great option when you want to go with a polish that's on the neutral side but still has some interest.

Inside, artificial light. Here you see the bronze side of Idyllic.
And here is the burnished wine-red side of Idyllic

You can best appreciate the varying hues of this polish in a short video (if you look very closely, you might catch a glimpse of my pug toward the end of the clip--a little bonus):

Now let's see what Ace thinks of Idyllic.


This is really not my type of color normally. I run away from anything earthy, anything close to brown.

But a drugstore multichrome? I am there to at least give it a try.

I like CQ polishes generally. They are made my Scherer, which also make Petites polishes. I have quite a few of these and have not yet found a disappointing one. They are 3-free by the way, even though their marketing department hasn't caught on with the whole "non-chemical" nail polish advertising scheme...

Idyllic is a perfect fall color that reflects a range of autumn leaves colors. In the bottle it's a bronze that leans red. Whereas you can see it is slightly duochrome (bronze to burgundy) in the bottle, the effect really pops on the nail. The polish leans burgundy or golden bronze depending on the light, and even turning a green gold reminiscent of Chanel Peridot and its ilk! I couldn't stop staring at my nails when I wore this.

I tried to pick photos that show these different colors. It's not easy to get the same colors showing up in the same photo, so I chose different photos that are all as color-accurate as possible.

Indoors. Indirect natural light. No flash.
Indoors. Indirect natural light. No flash.
Outdoors. In the shade. 
Outdoors. In the sun.
CQ Idyllic applied a little bit streaky on the first coat but was fully even with the second coat. I used Seche Vite as top coat and Cult Nails base coat. Excellent shine and dry time with this combination.

In sum, if you like these kinds of colors, Idyllic is a true multichrome perfect for the season and can be found at Rite-Aid for $3.99. I don't have any brown/bronze type polishes, but this one is a keeper!

Conclusion: The lab's scientists once again agree. CQ Idyllic is a great, season-appropriate multichrome!

What do you think lab partners? Do you like Idyllic?