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!