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?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Benchwork: Bettina Disco Collection

Hello Lab Partners!

I hope you're ready for some fun, funky colors because today, I'm going to show you the limited edition Disco collection from Bettina--6 vibrant metallics! I have Cristina at Let Them Have Polish to thank for putting me on to Bettinas. She has swatches of a ton of these babies, so if you're ever curious about Bettina polishes, check out her awesome blog!

Okie dokie, let's take a look at these rockin' colors:

From top to bottom: Hippie, Peace, Groovie, Hustle. Inside, artificial light.
Outside, natural light
Boogie. Outside, natural light.

Hot pants, swatched on a nail wheel.

 So I ran out of fingers before I got to the sixth polish, Hot Pants (my fave name of the collex). I hope you don't mind looking at it on a color wheel.
Left: Zoya Tanzy. Right: Bettina Hippie

Something  to point out before I bid you adieu: Hippie is very similar to--although not a dupe of--Zoya Tanzy:

As many of you know, until recently, Bettina polishes were available only in Puerto Rico. Nowadays, they can also be purchased at some Miami-area retailers. What to do if you don't live in Puerto Rico or Miami? Actually, it's pretty darn simple--you contact

So what do you think of the Disco collection? Pretty groovy, huh? Does it make you want to put on your hot pants and boogie, oogie, oogie while you do the hustle?

Until next time, PEACE, my fellow polish hippies!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

11 Week Challenge: Week 3 Mani

Hello Lab Partners,

As you may recall, we're participating in an 11-week mani challenge. This week's theme is a mani based on your favorite polish or a mani featuring hearts and/or stars. I'll tell you now I took the easy way out! No fancy schmancy mani from me this week--just straight-up color! I don't actually have one favorite polish, but the one I picked is in my top ten favorites: Zoya Rica.

Zoya Rica, looking more orange-coral.

Rica is a metallic that applies super smoothly. What I love most about it is the way it appears more of a pink coral in some light, and more of an orange coral in others. I wear a lot of coral clothing, especially in the spring and summer. Please keep in mind I live in Florida, so when I say, "spring and summer," I'm basically talking about eight months out of the year! In general, I'm not terribly concerned with matching my polish to my outfit, but I'll admit that I dislike it when nails and clothes clash, and corals can be tricky in this regard. Put on a pair of salmon pink shorts with orange-coral polish and . . . ouch! Hence, my love for Rica--next to salmon, she appears a pinkish coral; next to warmer colors, more an orangey coral.

Here, Rica looks much pinker.

So there you have it: the reasons Rica is one of my favorites. It makes me happy just to look at it! Each time I apply it, I think, I forgot how much I love this color!

So what do you think of Rica?

Lab Love,