Tag Archives: holiday collections

China Glaze Holiday Joy 2012 – Holo Glitters Swatches & Review

China Glaze Holiday Joy 2012 – A Gift For You Shot Glass

China Glaze has just released their Holiday 2012 collection, called Holiday Joy.  It consists of 12 polishes, and I believe all are available individually, as well as in a variety of sets.  I found them at Sally Beauty yesterday, and purchased the set with the two scattered holo glitters, which also includes a shot glass.   The silver holo is called Glistening Snow, and the gold is Angel Wings.

China Glaze Glistening Snow, Angel Wings

Here is a swatch of Glistening Snow, blurred to show sparkle.  On the left, I have one coat over OPI Dating a Royal; on the right, I have three coats alone. No topcoat – it’s very gritty (more on that later)

China Glaze Glistening Snow 

Here is China Glaze Angel Wings.  On the left, three coats alone, on the right, one coat over Nails, Inc. Belgrave Place.  Again, blurred to show sparkle, and this time it does have topcoat (not that you can tell, it’s so blurry!)

China Glaze Angel Wings

Like I mentioned, it is VERY gritty without topcoat – here is a close-up of three coats of Angel Wings without topcoat:

It takes 2-4 coats of topcoat to smooth it out, depending on how may coats of the China Glaze you use, what topcoat you use, how thick your topcoat coats are, etc.

And, here is my NOTD! This is one coat of Zoya Zuza with one coat of China Glaze Glistening Snow, again blurred to show sparkle. It has two coats of topcoat, but I’m going to add a third, because it’s not smooth enough for my liking.

Here it is un-blurred – much prettier blurred, don’t you agree?

You can see all 12 of the China Glaze Holiday Joy polishes on Vampy Varnish. Will you be picking any of them up?


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Sinful Colors Holiday Shimmers: Review & Swatches

Sinful Colors Super Star, Winter Wonder, Faceted

Sinful Colors has released a collection of glitters for the holidays, called the “Holiday Shimmer” collection – I believe there are six new shades in the collection, though I’m not sure.  I purchased three of the shades – Super Star, Winter Wonder, and Faceted, and I have quick & dirty swatches plus a review for you today!

First, Super Star, my favorite. Super Star consists of purple glitter and blue glass-shard flakies in a blue tinted base. It’s a unique and beautiful shade. In terms of consistency, it is a bit goopy – it applies fine if you wait for each layer to dry, but if you try to apply a layer over wet nail polish, it is prone to gathering at the tips and/or creating bald spots.  It is opaque in two coats, which is pictured here (it looks much better with topcoat, but is pictured without topcoat):

Sinful Colors Super Star

I also have a NOTD shot of Super Star – my cuticles are in absolutely terrible condition, so sorry – this is why I have one-thumb swatches of the others. But, you can see how lovely it is with topcoat!

Sinful Colors Super Star swatch – with topcoat

My second favorite is Winter Wonder, which is a blue-grey base with multicolored shimmer. I see silver and blue shimmer primarily, but also flashes of green and magenta.   This has a nice formula (thicker than ideal, but very usable), but takes three coats to be almost opaque.   I’ve also tried layering it over a dark grey – one coat layered is lovely, but doesn’t have the depth of the polish alone.   This looks similar to Zoya FeiFei in swatches, but I don’t own the Zoya to compare.  The following swatch is three coats:

Sinful Colors Winter Wonder

My least favorite of the three is Faceted, which is a clear polish with purple glitter and iridescent green bar glitter. This was also thick in consistency; again, you need to be sure the first layer is mostly dry before adding another layer.  This is probably best as a layering polish, but here are two coats alone – the iridescence made my camera refuse to focus!

Sinful Colors Faceted

Overall, I would recommend Super Star and Winter Wonder, but give Faceted a pass.


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection: Reviews, Swatches, Photos

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection contents

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection contents

Ever since I received Sephora’s birthday gift this year – which was two Fresh Sugar lip treatments, clear and rose – I’ve been a big fan of Fresh’s lip products.   And I was lucky enough to have a friend give me a Sephora Friends & Family code this year, so I decided to have a mini-splurge and buy Sephora’s Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection, which is $65 and includes 8 mini lip treatments – which I believe is all the lip treatments Fresh currently makes.

If $65 ($8.13 each) for this set is too much for you, Fresh has two other holiday sets consisting of the tinted mini lip treatments.  The Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection is $48 (8 each) includes six of the lip treatments; it doesn’t include the Advanced Therapy clear or Sugar Fresh Plum – which happens to be the sheerest and my least favorite of the bunch.  I’d actually recommend that set.  And, if you’d rather only spend $28 ($9.33 each), the Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio includes minis of Passion, Honey, and Berry.

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection - packaging

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection – packaging

Fresh Sugar Soiree

so pretty lined up inside the box!

Each mini lip balm is packaged in a screw-top metal case; each is a different color.  This is the same packaging as the Sephora birthday gift and the full size items.  I like the packaging – it’s pretty and protects the lip balm.

I really like the texture of the balm. I find it quite moisturizing and very comfortable to wear, though it’s not quite as healing on my lips as Jack Black lip balm.  The tinted balm feel exactly the same as the clear ones. I haven’t tried the Advanced Lip Therapy yet though, because I want to finish up some other lip balms first. Do note that these are quite soft and a bit fragile – I never twist them very far up, to protect the balm.  They get quite soft in hot weather, but despite walking around with one in my purse on a 95 degree day, I’ve never had one melt – just soften temporarily.

On to the swatches! I swatched all six of the colored balms, and tried to arrange them so similar colors were next to each other.  I swatched my older, used Rose balm, which is why the swatch looks slightly different / not as crisp.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Swatches - coral rose honey passion berry plum

Fresh Sugar tinted lip treatments – natural light

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Swatches - coral rose honey passion berry plum

Fresh Sugar Tinted lip treatments – same order as above – with flash

EDIT: Here’s a better quality swatch photo. Coral was slightly melted, thus the heavier swatch – but it is the most pigmented.

Fresh Sugar tinted balm swatches - Plum Berry Passion Coral Rose Honey

Plum // Berry // Passion // Coral // Rose // Honey

(back to the post)

As you can see, Plum is the most sheer, followed by Rose then Honey.  Passion and Berry have about the same pigmentation level, and Coral is the most pigmented.  Plum barely shows up on me with a single layer, Rose and Honey add just a hint of color, and Passion, Berry, and Coral all show up very well.

I also took lip swatch pictures, including a no-lip-product photo for comparison purposes.  This is a fairly generous coat of each balm to better show the product; it’s possible to apply less and get a sheerer look.

no lip product

Fresh Sugar Honey lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Honey

Fresh Sugar Rose lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Rose

Fresh Sugar Coral lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Coral

Fresh Sugar  Passion lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Passion

Fresh Sugar Berry lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Berry

Fresh Sugar Plum lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Plum

Overall, this is a fantastic set, and a great value.  It’s listed as a $91 value, though I haven’t checked the math myself.  I’m very happy with it! However, since I don’t like Plum as much as the others, and I have plenty of clear balms, I would actually recommend the Fresh Sugar Addiction set instead (and it has the bonus of being slighly cheaper per item).

Are you a fan of holiday mini-sets in general, and does this one appeal to you?

L’oreal The Bigger The Better & The Queen’s Ambition Nail Polish Review, Swatches, Comparison

I was surprised when I noticed that L’oreal had what appeared to be two different limited-edition nail polishes that looked almost identical.  In the bottle, The Bigger The Better from the new Diamond Collection looks black with lots of fine silver glitter and some slightly larger silver glitter pieces, and The Queen’s Ambition from the fall Project Runway collection looks black with lots of fine silver glitte. So, I bought both of them to compare.

L'oreal The Bigger The Better / The Queen's Ambition

L’oreal The Bigger The Better / The Queen’s Ambition – looking almost identical

I was totally surprised when I swatched them for the first time – The Bigger The Better isn’t black at all; it’s actually a clear base with black and silver glitter.  The Queen’s Ambition is, as expected, black with fine silver glitter (and a dupe of Illamasqua’s newly-relased Creator nail polish – swatched here at Vampy Varnish).

This is one fairly thick coat of The Bigger The Better – it’s very dense.  One coat looks good over other colors, but it takes four coats to be opaque or almost opaque.  This is two coats of The Queen’s Ambition – it’s almost opaque in one, but I prefer two. As you can see, The Queen’s Ambition has a slightly rough finish and really needs topcoat to look best.

L'oreal The Bigger The Better / The Queen's Ambition - comparison swatches

L’oreal The Bigger The Better / The Queen’s Ambition – no topcoat

L'oreal The Bigger The Better / The Queen's Ambition - comparison

L’oreal The Bigger The Better / The Queen’s Ambition – with topcoat

I did actually swatch these on my hands, but my nails and cuticles are such a mess right now that the swatches look terrible, so I’m going to stick with the swatch stick photos.

Both of these are good quality polishes – despite the glitter, they aren’t too thick or goopy (though they definitely aren’t thin either).  I’m happy I ended up buying both!

If you haven’t been able to find these in stores, The Queen’s Ambition is available here on drugstore.com – they don’t currently have The Bigger The Better, but perhaps it will show up at some point.