Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Crystal Files 086: Long Time No See!

My apologies for not posting regularly! Life with a three year old can be quite hectic, and to some extent my polish habit has backed off a bit. I have a secondary addition to perfume oils by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and only so much cash to throw around, as i'm sure you can all understand! Well, i had this Zoya Spring preview show up in my inbox, and i knew i had to share with all of you cyber polish fans out there.

The Reverie Spring 2010 collection includes six new Zoya shades, each polish will retail for $7. The colors are Laney (moonlit silver metallic), Adina (duochrome violet metallic), Reece (gilded rose metallic), Happi (pink blush metallic), Gwin (sunny melon metallic), and Lana (rich red metallic). Here's a little teaser promotional photo for all my pretty polishes peeps.

Zoya Reverie Promo

Any thoughts on this collection? Will you be waiting eagerly for your chance at these new shades? Do share!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crystal File 085: Coming Soon! Zoya MatteVelvet Winter 2009!

I'm sure you all have gathered by now that I'm not a huge fan of matte finish polishes. However, Zoya is releasing a new collection of three more MatteVelvet shades for winter, and these colors look very promising! I'm hoping perhaps the wear will be a bit improved, as i have found the wear length on previous mattes quite lacking. I'll have to wait and see. From the promo photo i think these look really gorgeous.

New Zoya Mattes Winter

The colors are Veruschuka (Evergreen matte shimmer), Savita (Plum Grey matte shimmer), and Harlow (Rose matte shimmer). You can check out swatches at!I also hope to have them to swatch for you eventually! And keep your eye peeled for more Wizard of Ooh Ahz swatches and new Color Club shades coming soon!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crystal File 084: See you soon, Dorothy!

I'm sure many fellow nail-o-philes will have already heard about the upcoming (Spring, 2010) re-release of the fabulous China Glaze Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection. I feel very fortunate to own the entire collection, and i've decided to pay homage to the return of this amazing collection by showing you photos of the originals throughout the coming weeks. First up is the darling of the collection, the incomparable Dorothy Who?

Dorothy Who ? 2

As you can see, Dorothy Who? is a mid-blue jelly base with tons of fine silver glitter. Although many fabulous glittery blues exist, i've yet to find one that dupes Dorothy. She is a true original!

I apologize for the current state of my nails and cuticles, they still aren't fully recovered from the horrid state i found them in after two solid weeks of neglect. For the time being i'm forced to keep them filed short until the over-buffed portions have grown out. It's a sad state i find myself in! I will, however, return soon to share some photos of the other amazing colors from the original Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crystal File 083: Holy Moly, I Have Returned!

So sorry to have bailed on my readers for so long! The arrival of my best friend's new baby, Caden, followed quickly by our long awaited vacation to NC's Topsail Island, made for a long time away! I have returned, but for the moment i shall spare you any pics of my nails, they are in horrifying shape after two weeks of neglect. I promise to return to you all soon with some pretty new polishes, once my nails are presentable again!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crystal File 82: China Glaze Let's Groove and Nubar Earth

Catching up with a few NOTD photos! It's difficult for me to be inspired by deep, rich fall colors since it's so hot right now. That said, these two colors are still vibrant and sparkly enough to feel wearable when it's HOT, HOT, HOT! First up is China Glaze Let's Groove, a truly fabulous deep purple that is warmed and brightened by red shimmer. The application was quite nice, although the formula seemed a tad thick, nothing a couple of drops of thinner wouldn't fix. I would definitely classify this as a warm purple, so if those don't work for you, maybe steer clear.

Watermarked Let's Groove

Watermarked Let's Groove Closeup

And next up Nubar Earth from their current Go Green collection. This entire collection is a green lover's dream. And although i wouldn't classify myself as a member of the green lover's club, i can still appreciate how beautiful these colors are. Earth is a stunning blue based green with teal-ish sparkle. The finish is much more sparkly than a traditional shimmer, while i wouldn't quite classify it as a glitter either. The shimmer is closely akin to the type of shimmer in OPI Ink. I can definitely see this polish looking far more teal on someone with a more neutral skintone than mine. Since my skintone is fair but warm, i get a cool emerald green.

Watermarked Earth 2

Watermarked Earth

I hope to be able to share some more of these lovely collections with you in the near future, so please stay tuned!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crystal File 081: Zoya Dare First Installment

This has been on of the rainiest summers i have ever experienced, which is to say, sunlight has not been coming around often. I managed to snap a few quick shots of Zoya Pinta, Ibiza, and Envy a few days ago when we had a bit of (albeit weak) sunlight. Unfortunately i've yet to get another chance at swatching since i've been busy planning and prepping for my little boy's third birthday.

So, i'm going to share with you these few photos as a teaser, and promise to get the remaining colors swatched and photographed for you as soon as i can! Please forgive the fact that these aren't my best photos, i was rushed to catch what little sunlight i had!

Pinta is a beautiful deep violet/blue in the bottle, but on me it is nearly black. I could only see the loveliness of the color in the brightest of lighting conditions. I added a layer of Zoya Sparkle Gloss on the ring finger for a bit of pizazz.

Crystal File Zoya Pinta

Ibiza is a bit of a disappointment. Although pretty enough, Ibiza is not terribly unique. And while it does have the tiniest hint of shimmer, you aren't going to see it unless you are in very bright sunlight.

Crystal File Zoya Ibiza

Zoya Envy, while pretty, is definitely not a "me" kind of color. The formula was nice, but definitely far more sheer than i expected. While Ibiza and Pinta were nearly opaque enough to get away with one coat, Envy definitely requires two (and would probably benefit from a third). I put a coat of Zoya Akyra over my ring finger, and as you can see, that was clearly a color experiment FAIL.

Crystal File Zoya Envy

While i don't yet have photos to share with you, i did test drive Zoya Loredana from the MatteVelvet collection. My first impression is that Matte is definitely not for me. However, Loredana is very pretty with a shiny top coat. The only failing (as the manufacturer warns) is that the matte polishes do not wear well AT ALL. On the first day, in the course of normal activity, i lost half the polish off of at least two nails. I would not recommend the MatteVelvet polishes if you're looking for a manicure with extended wear.

I did manage to get a photo of Zoya Drew, which is my favorite of the Truth collection next to Anaka (which is an amazing color, but stained my nails horribly). While not an incredibly ground breaking color, Drew is very pretty, and has a gorgeous finish.

Crystal File Zoya Drew

That's all i have to share with you this evening my lacquer loving ladies! I do have the entire China Glaze Retro Diva Collection on hand and ready to photo, as well as the awesome Nubar Go Green collection, so please check back soon!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crystal File 080: Zoya MatteVelvet Shipping July 1st!

Promo Matte Velvet

Zoya will be the first major manufacturer of salon polishes to usher in the matte trend this year. Notice i said "this year", since several polish companies have created matte collections in the past. The trend is being renewed this year by manufacturers such as Zoya and OPI. For the MatteVelvet collection, Zoya has created a series of three matte finish shades, each with subtle shimmer, packaged in special matte finish bottles. The shades are: Posh (matte shimmer wine), Dovima (matte shimmer black), and Loredana (matte shimmer gunmetal).

So, what are your thoughts on the matte trend for fall? Personally, having never tried matte finish polishes before, i am both excited and a tad apprehensive. I think the Zoya collection has strong potential, as all the shade have shimmer, where most of the upcoming OPI matte shades do not. All of the matte polishes (Zoya and OPI) are intended to be used without base or top coat, which leaves me wondering if how badly wear will be affected, and if staining will be an issue.

The MatteVelvet collection will ship from Zoya beginning July 1st. Thankfully i should have samples to share with you soon, so you can decide if you need them! The collection is Limited Edition and will retail for $6. Product should be available for pre-order soon via the Zoya website.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crystal File 79: OPI Sea, I Told You! and Entity Swatches

I've found a new polish love, and it's name is Sea, I Told You! by OPI. For me, the OPI South Beach collection was an unfortunate failure, but Sea, I Told You! has given me new faith in OPI. Sea, I Told You! has a stunning finish that is both foil and micro-glitter. It truly does remind me of the ocean beneath a bright, sunny, blue sky. In low light you may even catch a glimpse of the soft laverder sparkle and *hint* of duochrome this polish has. For complete opacity i need three coats, but i certainly don't mind when the end result is this stunning!

CF Sea, I Told You!

CF Sea, I Told You! 2


CF Sea, I Told You! 3

I also had a brief moment of sunshine yesterday to snap a photo of these skittle swatches of a new brand (new to me, anyways) called Entity. I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of these polishes. These swatches are each two coats, no base or top coat. The fomula is quite smooth, although a tad bit thick, and dries quite shiny. The orange is by far my favorite of the group i ordered, and i would recommend it to anyone who wants a great bright (but not neon) orange. I apologize for the smudged pinky swatch, i bumped it just before taking the photo. Colors are Pearl Orange, Pearl Turquoise, Pearl Violet, and Pearl Fuchsia.

CF Entity Swatches

Entity polishes are available to order through, i've yet to see them at any retail location. They're certainly worth checking out!

For any who might be interested to know, i've finally gone over to the dark side and ordered a Konad stamp and several plates. At the moment i am simply experimenting and practicing, but i hope to soon be able to share some fun new Konad NOTDs with my readers! If you're considering ordering a Konad stamper, i would highly recommend OCNailArt for your Konad needs. The owner provides fabulous customer service and offers a %20 of discount for readers of the Sasse Stamping Stampede blog. Simply enter code SASSE at checkout to receive your %20 discount.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crystal File 078: Layering With Neons

I often find myself avoiding creme finish polishes because it is difficult to hide flaws in a creme manicure. If i wear a creme finish polish, i generally layer a little something (or a massively blingy something) over the creme to add some sparkle or shimmer. Since the weather has gradually been warming, and the sun has been making the occasional appearance, I've been doing more and more layering experiments with neons.

When you layer a neon beneath a shimmery polish that isn't heavily pigmented you end up with a gorgeous glow, but the neon effect is a bit softer (which might make it easier for someone who is shy about neons to give them a try). If the neon creme you choose is a bit sheer doing two coats of neon, plus one coat of the shimmer polish you've chosen, will help you avoid the dreaded "Visible Nail Line".

As I'm sure many of you already know, there are a lot of fabulous neon polishes out at the moment. There are also some fabulous shimmery polishes (China Glaze Summer Days, Misa Candy Girl, Sweet Pleasures, and Lolli Jolly) that are sheer enough to allow your neon base to glow through. I've chosen a few of my recent experiments to share with you, i hope you enjoy and feel inspired to try some combinations of your own!

China Glaze Purple Panic topped with Color Club

Watermarked PUrple Panic

China Glaze Rose Among Thorns topped with China Glaze Raspberry Festival

Watermarked Raspberry Festival

Zoya Paz topped with China Glaze Cherry Pie

Watermarked Cherry Pie

These are the few combinations i managed to get photos of (when the sun made an appearance) but I've tried a few other combinations you might also like:

Essie Perky Purple topped with Misa Candy Girl
Misa Pour Me Something Tall and Strong topped with Misa Sweet Pleasures
China Glaze Japanese Koi topped with China Glaze Cherry Pie or Orange Marmalade
China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise topped with China Glaze Watermelon Rind

Layering is a ton of fun, and i truly hope you feel inspired to try your own combinations! You may even discover a new favorite summer mani :) And try these layering experiments with some of your favorite older colors as well! China Glaze colors like Drinkin' My Blues Away and Sass in a Glass (or any "glass flecked" polish) are fabulous for layering over neons too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crystal File 77: BB Couture Swatches

If BB Couture is a brand you've yet to check out, my fellow fanatics, trust me when i say, "Do it!" BB Couture features some amazingly unique shades and an easy to apply formula. You can find their polishes for sale at This brand is constantly coming up with new, interesting colors, so they're definitely worth watching!

First up is Balboa Beach Bunny, a warm purple shimmer base with blue and red glitter, plus very sparse holographic bar glitter.

Balboa Beach Bunny 2

Balboa Beach Bunny

Next up Zuma Wave Rider, a totally bodacious sky blue creme (there is very secret lavender shimmer in the bottle, but it's creme on the nail).

BB Couture Zuma Wave Rider

And these two lovelies have the smoothest, sparkliest, foil finishes I've ever seen! Karribean Kiersti (blue), and Love Drunk (pink)

BB Couture Karribean Kiersti 2

BB Couture Karribean Kiersti

BB Couture Love Drunk

BB Couture Love Drunk 2

And the amazingly beautiful Fairy Blood. A gorgeous berry-red jelly base with the tiniest red micro-glitter. Absolutely stunning! (shown with two coats of top coat, since it's a true glitter it can be a bit bumpy)

BB Couture Fairy's Blood

BB Couture Fairy's Blood Close-up

I hope you've enjoyed these great polishes as much as I've enjoyed sharing them! Stay tuned for more new pretties to come!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Apologies For My Absence

Unfortunately our home computer went down recently. My hubby is waiting on a part he needs in order to fix it (a bracket broke while he was doing a maintenance, so it must be replaced) and then i will be back in working order. I appreciate my wonderful readers and wouldn't want you to think i had gone missing indefinitely! I hope to be back with some new Nubar photos for you early next week, so please stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crystal File 75: Got Your Sunglasses?

As any nail polish fanatic knows, super bright polishes are always in style during the warmer months. Bold, bright polishes dazzle in the sunlight, and play well with sun-bronzed skin. This season several of my favorite polish brands are introducing polishes that fit the uber-bright neon trend.

Before moving on to the photos, i want to mention one factor that can often take a polish consumer by surprise. Polishes that contain neon pigments ALL, to varying degrees, dry more matte that those that do not. The more neon, the more matte the polish will be when it dries. Although many are initially put off by this, all you need is a coat of your favorite shiny top coat and you'll have a brilliant, shiny manicure or pedicure. Now, on to the photos.

First up the Essie Neon Collection for summer 2009. I have seen these already at my local Ulta and Trade Secret stores, so they're readily available!

From Index to pinky the colors are Funky Limelight (the photo is of 5 coats with Poshe top coat, i highly recommend layering this one over white unless you don't mind visible nail line), Punchy Pink (three coats and top coat), Perky Purple (three coats, but should've done two, and it's brighter in real life than the photo), and Flirty Fuschia (three coats and top coat).


Next we have the Color Club Electro Candy collection. All of these shades do contain neon pigment and have lovely irridescent shimmer added.

All polishes are shown with three coats and top coat. From thumb to pinky the colors are Pure Energy, Electro Candy, What a Shock, Ultra Violet, and Tangerine Scream. Bottle shown in photo is Color Club Volt of Light.


And finally we have the gorgeous bright creme shades from Zoya's La Di Da collection. Thumb and index (Dita and America respectively) are not neons, but i included them since they're part of the same collection. The three neon shades, from middle to pinky (Ali, Paz, Renee) are shown with three coats and top coat.


I hope you'll all be inspired to try a few neons, i promise they will brighten your day! Please stay tuned for more fabulous polishes for summer!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Crystal File 74: My Newest Obsession (and Recent NOTDs)

I have this new obsession, and considering i never thought i'd have the patience to do any nail art what-so-ever, i am amazed at how addicted i've become. I am addicted to the dotting tool! The tool i've been using for my recent Polka Dot manis is actually an "embossing stylus" that i purchased at AC Moore for under $4. From what i understand this tool, while sold for use in card making and scrapbooking, is identical to a "dotting tool" one would purchase at a nail supply store. Ac Moore had a few different sizes/brands of this type of tool, each of which were double ended (each end being a different sized "dot").

Before i move onto some photos of my recent experiments in polka-dotting, i'll say a few words about using the dotting tool. This is an incredibly simple means of dressing up a mani. I've created all of these manicures using either regular polishes that are heavily pigmented (like Zoya Pippa, a bright, intensely pigmented yellow creme), or nail art polishes (such as Art Club White) which are by nature well pigmented.

I have found that the key is to test the polish i want to use for my pattern first. On scotch tape i put a couple of layers of the base i'm planning to use, and then i use my dotting tool to apply whichever polish i'm considering. I do this to avoid frustration, having tested, i already know if the polish i've chosen is opaque enough to create polka dots with. If you find that you have to put a large glob of polish on your nail to create an opaque dot, you might have chosen a polish that isn't pigmented enough. The down side to using too much polish for your dots is that you'll have a bumpy manicure, and you may also have trouble getting the dots to dry.

When you're applying the dots, hold the tool perpendicular to the nail surface and tap lightly to apply. The base polish does not need to be completely dry, but it helps if it has set enough that it isn't sticky. Practice helps again when you're figuring out how much pressure you need to use when applying.

Now, enough babble, onto the photos!

My first adventure in Polka-dots (China Glaze Entourage base and China Glaze Laced Up Polka-dots):


Next came Zoya Katy with Art Club White polka-dots on the ring fingers:


Then i took a break from the dot maddness, here are a couple of cloudy day photos of Zoya Tallulah (quite possibly my new favorite blue of all time!):


with flash:



And last, but certainly not least, my current Spring-y Easter Egg inspired mani using China Glaze Custom Kicks (turquoise) and Zoya Pippa (lovely bright yellow creme):



If you're looking for a fun way to jazz up your manis without having to use decals or commit to Konad, a dotting tool may be the way to go! This has turned out to be a simple and fun way to do a little something different.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Crystal File 073: Quick and Dirty!

Earlier this week i received the China Glaze Kicks collection and i have some very quick and dirty swatches of them to share. I am loving this collection. More so even than the Summer Days colors, if I'm being honest. For the most part these colors are pigmented enough to be opaque in two coats, with the exception of three of the colors which I'd consider jelly finish (How Street It Is, Style Wars, Sneaker Head), and one of the shimmers (Paper Chasing). I will add that for the most part I use a ridge filling base (Zoya Get Even) which can help hide VNL (visible nail line). These photos are no base, no top coat.

First up the cremes, my least favorites because I'm a shimmer kind of gal.

Index to Pinky: Oh How Street It Is, Sneaker Head, Style Wars, Laced Up (thumb is a repeat of Sneaker Head)


Next up the gorgeous blues and greens!

Index to Pinky: Paper Chasing (the base of this one is quite sheer), Entourage, Sky High Tops, Custom Kicks (a bit more dusty and turquoise in real life; thumb is also Custom Kicks).


Final photo Index to Pinky: Fly, Its Poppin, B-Girlz, Breakin' (thumb is a repeat of Its Poppin). Note there is a bit of VNL in this pic, but having done manis with a couple of these i can attest to the fact that a coat of Zoya Get Even solves any opacity issues.


I'm hoping i will get a chance to get better shots of these, especially my favorites of the collection (Fly, Its Poppin, B-Girlz, Custom Kicks, Entourage, Sky High Top). I also have the new Color Club Electro Candy collection in the wings to swatch this weekend, and i hope to have Zoya summer to swatch for you very soon! Stay tuned my lovelies :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crystal File 072: TGIF!

So, if I'm not mistaken, today is the first day of Spring. Mother Nature is certainly trying to pull a fast one up her, our high temperature is forecast to be in the low 40's! Complaints aside, it is Friday, and the sun is shining at least. I have a really lovely TGIF mani to share with you. I just received this beauty last night, and had to share it with my readers as soon as possible!

This is the gorgeous BB Couture Moon Over Manhattan. With it's dusty blue-teal base and subtle sparkle it is perfectly on trend for the spring season. The formula applied very nicely, two coats over Zoya Get Even base provided complete opacity. Even though this is a micro-glitter polish, the heavily pigmented base hides some of the sparkle, leaving it more subdued than the "typical" glitter. One coat of Poshe leaves it glossy and smooth. All photos taken in natural light.

This first photo was taken closest to the window, the intense light washes the color out a little, but it shows the sparkle well.





and a close-up to show how dense the micro-glitter is.


That's all for this installment! I hope you all enjoy the first weekend of Spring, whatever weather it may bring :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Crystal File 071: Essie Introduces The North Fork Collection

According to the Essie press release this limited edition collection of three shades were inspired by the "soft hues that floated down this season's runways". The three colors in The North Fork Collection are each named for quaint vacation villages located on Long Island's East End. Essie Weingarten says, "The new nail colors remind me of the most beautiful blues that surround the North Fork" (from the Essie press release).

I just received these three lovely colors this morning and have snapped a few quick photos to share with my readers. Please excuse the rough shape my hands are in, i haven't been kind enough to them lately! Both cremes are pictured over Zoya Get Even base as they are a bit jelly-ish in texture, the ridge filling base helps aid opacity. All polishes are two coats, no top coat.



Misa Dirty Sexy Money compared to Greenport (DSM on index/top, Greenport on thumb/bottom)


Shelter Island (Misa Right Here Now, No More Later on thumb)


My favorite of the collection, although not very flattering on me, is Sag Harbor. A lovely, soft, shimmering, silvery blue, it is opaque at two coats. Photographed with no base or top coat.


The North Fork Collection is limited edition and will be available beginning in April. See anything you need? Let me know which ones you might be stalking :)