Sunday, July 31, 2011

Brand New Bag: Essie Fall 2011 Collection

I ran across part of Essie's Brand New Bag collection at CVS the other day, and couldn't resist picking up a couple bottles.

I bought Lady Like and Power Clutch.
Case Study was also on the shelf, along with Carry On, but Case Study looked terrible with my skin, and I was wearing Anja from Zoya's Smoke collection, and it was very similar to Carry On. I'll probably grab that one when I'm not wearing a similar color. I have no willpower.

Surprisingly, I don't have anything resembling Lady Like, which surprises me, since I love pinks. This one has a bit more mauve to it, kind of a dusty rose. Its a lovely creme finish, and will keep me pretty in pink...but in a grown-up way. Two coats was all I needed for full coverage, and top coat wasn't necessary for shine. I just use it to protect the finish.

From the pictures I'd seen, I expected a little more blue from Power Clutch, but the fact that it's more of an army gray/green doesn't make me like it less. Colors like this are usually hard for me to wear, but this one works surprisingly well with my cool skin tone. Formula on this one is the same as Lady Like.

Overall, I'm really happy with these two. I like the sophistication in these fall collections. These colors actually seem like they could be worked into Zoya's Smoke collection. My eyes are peeled for Very Structured and Glamor Purse to see how they compare.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grapefruit Surprise!

As you may have seen in a previous post (Oh, The Addiction...), I got a Qtica 7oz. Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub free with my last order from Zoya. I've never used anything from Qtica until now, and I'm definitely not disappointed with my first experience.

"The perfect exfoliating product that will never leave residue, clog drains or whirlpool jets. No mixing necessary, dissolves completely. Never dries or irritates skin. Perfect for manicures, pedicures or exfoliating in the shower. Also ideal for arms and legs after shaving or waxing. Creates a perfect additional salon service."

I have to say, this may be one of the first products to live up to every claim on the label for me.

Residue: The scrub rinsed off my skin easily, with no oil or soapy feeling leftover. I didn't find chunks of sugar all over the tub, either, which is nice. There's also a slight warming feeling while you're rubbing it into your skin. Not helpful in July, but my holiday pedicures will be a little nicer, now.
Yes, this is a standard size laundry basket. Rando is that big.
It took 2 adults and a muzzle to hold him while the vet
trimmed his claws.

Drying/Irritating: My skin is a bit on the dry side, so I have to moisturize regardless of how great a product is. That said, this one didn't make me feel dry and itchy as I was drying off. I also have a few fresh cat scratches/bites from Rando's trip to the vet this afternoon, and I felt no burning or irritation, even after shaving.
I would have chosen another scent, since I tend to favor cherry/pomegranate/berry scents, but the grapefruit wasn't overpowering. My skin certainly feels smother than before I scrubbed, and I do exfoliate on a regular basis. I like the large chunks of sugar for my hands and feet, though smaller chunks may be better for more sensitive areas.

Overall, I'm happy with the scrub, and the free gift has served its purpose. I now want to try other scents. I just have to resist the urge to buy until this one is gone...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Black Friday!

Okay, not the Black Friday we're used to hearing about, but I've been doing some serious shopping lately, so it felt kind of appropriate.

I did a comparison of some of my white and almost-white polishes awhile back, so I felt it only fair to show of some of the black beauties in my collection.

I used to think black nails = goth. Not so much, anymore. As long as your nails are well manicured, you look classy and sophisticated. Still not sure I'd wear it for a job interview, but people don't assume you worship Satan anymore.

I've been avoiding black clothes with this heat, so I have to get my fix somehow.

First up: Liquid Leather from China Glaze
Liquid Leather appears to be a simple black creme, but man, it's shiny. If you were to look in my closet, you could see I have zero willpower when it comes to anything shiny and black, and patent leather is my favorite. This one lives up to the name, and application is great. Two coats and one Coat of Beauty Secrets top coat.

Second: Black Diamond from China Glaze
Standard great application from China Glaze. This was my first black, and it's a bit more gunmetal than true black. There's a subtle shimmer, but definitely not frosty. If a true black is too harsh for you, this is a great way to get an edgy look.

Third: Revvvolution from Color Club
Revvvolution without Top Coat

Revvvolution with Top Coat
I'm not normally a holo kind of girl, but this one is subtle enough from a distance, but you get a great sparkle up close. I feel naked without a top coat, but I almost like this one better without. The glitter shows up better this way, but in low light, it may come off a little dull. The pictures are large so you can zoom in and see the shine.

Last: Nicole's Nickels by Nicole by OPI
Nicole's Nickels inside, natural light.

Nicole's Nickels inside, artificial light.

Nicole's Nickels outside, direct sunlight.
I just picked this one up at Target the other day, and WOW. I hate glitter. It's a pain to remove, it never seems to actually come off your nails, you have to apply 8 layers of top coat to make it smooth...Whatever. Don't care. This one was way too awesome to pass up. I love the silver/gunmetal/black glitter. It's a gray/silver base, and gives surprisingly good coverage. I cheated and applied it over Black Diamond while swatching, but you seriously can't see the color under the glitter. This one is easily covered in 2-3 coats, and the brush is fab. 1-2 layers of top coat gave me a nice glossy finish and didn't dampen the glitter a bit.

That is all the black I have for now. Thank you for indulging me. Happy Black Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Which Hazel? Witch Hazel!

A recent project of mine has been my skin. It's on the dry side and a bit sensitive, but also a little acne prone. I don't get acne in the truest sense, but it's rare for me to go a day without a breakout or blemish of some kind. I've tried going without makeup and all of the acne-specific formulas I could find.

In my quest for clear skin, I've also used what feels like every magic acne potion known to man. Noxzema pads not only caused the skin on my face to become dry and flaky, but my fingers started to peel in the areas where the pads touched. In June. With Midwestern humidity. I've never had my skin peel after April for any reason other than a sunburn. Proactiv cleared it up a little, but I had a similar experience with the dry skin. The repairing lotion also tends to bleach fabrics, so I destroyed several washcloths and a handful of shirts. Treatments from Biore, Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear yielded similar results: either my skin got flaky or they were ineffective.

I ran across a few articles online about gentle astringents, and witch hazel came up a lot. I was at Target a few weeks ago, and decided to pick up a bottle. For the low, low price of about $1, why not try it?

I didn't get anything fancy, just the store brand (the one with the arrow, for you Target shoppers), and I've been using it for about 10 days after washing my face, and before applying my makeup in the morning. I'm not 100% breakout free, but I have noticed my blemishes seem to heal more quickly, and they're becoming fewer and further between.

The skin on my face is also looking more healthy, and the redness I usually get from toners and astringents isn't as severe.

As an experiment, I also added a dash to some moisturizer, since I'd read witch hazel has some soothing properties and my face isn't the only place the little bumps appear. This time of year, I'm prone to breakouts in the cleavage region because of the heat, and they're not nearly as they were a few months ago, even in the blistering heat and no other changes in my skincare regiment.

Bottom line, if you have sensitive skin and have problems with breakouts, the solution may be easier (and cheaper) than you thought.

Blogger's note: I am not a doctor and make no promises about the effectiveness of this product or reactions you may experience. These are solely observations from my personal experience. If you have questions or concerns, best to consult a dermatologist or physician.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh, The Addiction...

This is what happens when there are promotions and free gifts with purchase:

My loot includes: 2 oz. Remove+, 8oz Remove+, Qtica Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub, Zoya Hot Lips glosses in Boudoir and Marachino, Smoke collection (Anja, Dree, Jana, Petra, Cynthia and Codie), Pandora (Touch collection), Lolly (Mod Mattes) and the Smoke & Mirrors spoons.

It's like Christmas up in here.

You can all expect to see these posted with quality pictures soon. You know I've already removed my current polish and started playing. Currently, I have a nail painted (sloppily) in each color, and I'm going to have to remove it to figure out how to apply Lolly without making her look streaky. The glosses are great, and I'll keep you posted on the scrub.

Now that I can actually see the Smoke collection in person, I love every color. Not one looks bad on my skin and the best word to describe these is 'sophisticated.' Not one of these polishes makes you think girlie, goth, wild or crazy. They're trendy, but in a chic way.

All in all, I love this collection, and I fully intend to get my hands on the Mirrors half, especially now that I've seen the color spoons. Check back over the next few days for more!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blueberry Tuesday!

Zoya describes Charla as: tropical blue sparkling metallic. An expensive-looking metallic shade for summer.

I have no idea where or why this started, but some of my coworkers have dubbed Tuesdays "Blueberry Tuesday." We wear blue on Tuesday. No special reason I'm aware of. It likely started because several people wore blue on Tuesday and started a joke.

Since poor Marley caved after I opened one of those plastic packages electronics accessories are sold in (you know, the kind you have to cut open with scissors, and the scissors nearly break cutting through...all to get to your stupid memory card or phone case...), I decided my nails would participate in Blueberry Tuesday this week.

I don't have a lot of blue in my collection, but I decided Zoya's Charla was a perfect summer blue for the occasion.
Taken outside in the shade.
Inside, natural light.

Isn't she pretty? And look how shiny! In the sunlight, Charla shows off the lighter blue/green shades, inside the darker speckles come out.

I got Charla and Ivanka free with my very first purchase from Zoya, and I've been enamored ever since. These two beauties are from the Sparkle collection, and they live up to the name. No photos do them justice, but this polish gleams in the sunshine. The color makes me feel a bit like a mermaid, and I have a hard time not looking at it.

In other news, I got the shipping confirmation for the Smoke half of the Smoke & Mirrors (plus a few other things...) collection yesterday evening. I fully expect to spend the next two days checking FedEx's website every three minutes to see if it's here yet. I can assure you these will be posted soon.It may take all of my willpower not to do them all at once.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Testing 1 2 3...

Just testing the Blogger for Android app. First post from the phone! :)

Marley & My Nails

Today is the first day in a few days I've been able to get a decent shot of my current manicure. It's been cloudy, and indoor lighting wasn't doing the color justice. Please ignore the sloppy application and the tiny chip. I was in a hurry when I was applying and it's been 3 days of assembling a cabinet and washing dishes.

Two things I love about Zoya's Marley:

1. It's the perfect lavender for an adult. It's pale and pretty without making you look twelve. There's a slight air of sophistication in this creme polish with the tiniest hint of silver shimmer.

2. How many polishes can you wear while assembling furniture, cooking, washing dishes by hand, scrubbing the bathroom and showering without the whole thing chipping and peeling off?

Marley is from the Intimate collection, as was Caitlin from my earlier post. A lovely collection. The colors are all fun and trendy, but in an understated way. You could wear any of them (including the green) to an interview and be perfectly appropriate.

Friday, July 22, 2011

All Hail Stacy London!

Anyone who knows me knows that What Not to Wear is amongst my favorite shows. Ever. I'm fairly certain I've seen almost every episode. There is a part of me (a large part) that would like to stop people on the street and drag them to the nearest retail location and force them to buy tasteful clothing. Not saying I'm anywhere near the guru level Stacy has achieved, but I am perfectly capable of stating the obvious.

Anyway, Stacy was on the Today Show and offered some fantastic (obviously) tips for keeping cool and looking good in this unbelievable heat wave.

Stacy London: Keep it cool but classy when dressing for summer heat

Other great suggestions:
  • Keep the makeup to a minimum. The more crap you pile on your skin, the more makeup can melt down. Waterproof mascara and eyeliner is more likely to hold on, and tinted moisturizer (with SPF!) with a light dusting of bronzer will feel lighter and less greasy than foundation with powder and blush. A fresh-faced, natural look will hold up longer than dramatic makeup.
  • Blotting paper is your friend. Layering powder will just make you greasier later. Rice paper will absorb excess oil and keep you looking dewy, not greasy.
  • I can't believe I'm saying this, but avoid black. Nails and accessories are fine, but a black dress will attract and absorb heat way faster than a light gray or bright pink one. Lightweight fabric helps, too.
  • Embrace the updo. I once had a couple of girls stop me at an airport and ask me how I did my hair. I had literally twisted it into a messy, messy half-bun, half-french twist and secured it with an awesome plastic clip. There isn't really a specific tip I can give, because face shapes and hair types are so different. My go-to styles are a sleek, simple ponytail; the aforementioned messy twist thing; and a slightly dressier updo similar to the messy twist secured with bobby pins and the occasional awesome headband or flower pin.
  • Lay off the perfume. Seems counterintuitive, but heat causes sweat, which an cause odor. Even if you don't smell like a gym locker, the reaction between your natural scent and the scent of your lovely perfume can be a gag-inducing combination. If you must, opt for a scented antiperspirant or a light body mist with a clean, crisp scent.
  • Above all, HYDRATE! Iced coffee and soda taste great, but water will be your best friend. Not only does it cool you down, water actually helps to regulate your body temperature.
If you can't stay inside in the AC all day, hopefully this will help you survive the next couple of months!

Accessorizing the Tech Geek

I have recently taken my nerdiness to new heights.

I've always purchased my electronics in black or silver to avoid clashing with my outfit. You THINK I'm joking. My recent fascination is cases for my phones. Yeah. I have 3. One is a work phone. Just go with it.

The search for fun cases made me realize I'm not alone. There are so many ways to customize your electronics. There are pouches and bags for your phones and cameras in nearly every color. In addition, you can get a case for your phone in almost any imaginable style and they're costing less and less, so you can get several to use interchangeably.

Here are a few of the cases I've picked up over the last several months:

HTC Thunderbolt with Carbon Fiber Case
Thunderbolt Case - Silver with Black Pattern
Thunderbolt Case - Black with Silver Flowers
 The best part? None of these cases was more than $3 on My other two phones don't have quite the case selection (The Droid X is kind of an odd shape on the back and the HTC Trophy is still pretty new). Doesn't mean you can't customize, though. The Trophy actually lets you change the color of the menu options, so you can still color-coordinate. 
Fun, right?

Silky, Sexy Sugar Mama

It amazes me how much money I've spent on the simplest products in the past. $10-$20 for a scrub to smooth my hands and a separate scrub formulated for my feet and yet another one for my face...

At some point, it dawned on me that all these fancy containers were bragging about their natural ingredients or using chemicals to emulate what happens naturally. It occurred to me that my old friend, Google, might have some ideas. After a consult, I found some recipes for scrubs and decided to give them a try.

A lot of the recipes involved purchasing essential oils, which seemed to defeat the purpose of eliminating the clutter. Luckily, simplicity was there, too. Here's the recipe I chose:

1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel

The original recipe recommended brown sugar, but I used regular white sugar. I use an Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil from Bertolli, which seems to eliminate some of the olive-y smell. You can also replace the aloe vera gel with honey, but it makes the scrub a little stickier and harder to spread over large patches of skin.
My mani/pedi necessities: Shea It Isn't So Foot Lotion from Bath & Body Works, Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream, California Mango Mend Cuticle Cream, Homemade Sugar Scrub, Cuticle Pusher, 4-Way Buffing Block, Pumice Sponge and Nail Brush
Yes, I confess, I own Mary Kay. The night cream was one of the few things I liked when my old roommate hosted a party. I actually like the lotions from Bath & Body's True Blue Spa collection. They smell fresh and clean, not overpowering like some of their scents. I picked up the cuticle cream at Sally Beauty as a cash register purchase, and I do like it. Smells delicious. The rest was randomly acquired, probably at Target. I think I managed to hide the bite marks on the buffing block. My cat hates all things resembling nail files.

All this results in...*drum roll, please*...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ombre of Oranges!

I showed my first attempt at an Ombre manicure in an earlier post (, and I mentioned that I thought it would be cool to try an Ombre featuring a creme and glitter or shimmer of some kind. Without further adieu...

Pretty, huh?

Part of my reason for blogging is to share tips and how-to's, so here's how to achieve the look:

First, here's my arsenal:
You will need: cotton balls, Q-tips, nail polish remover, base coat, a creme polish, a complimentary glitter or shimmer, top coat, a cosmetic sponge and a bowl or plate (or napkin or paper...whatever). The umbrella played no part in the manicure, but it looks summery and I found a box of them when I was looking for the little bowl pictured.

Step 1: Prep your nails. I like to do my nails after I get out of the shower so my cuticles are nice and soft. Push back cuticles, file to desired shape and if needed, buff any ridges so nails are smooth. After that, I wash my hands and allow a few minutes to dry. I then use Zoya's Remove+ polish remover to make sure all residue and oils are gone.

Step 2: Apply base coat. I've used Beauty Secrets Base Coat (available at Sally Beauty) for years. I recently purchased Zoya's Color Lock System, but I'm trying to be good and use the old before I open the new. We'll see how long that lasts.

Step 3: Apply the creme polish. You can really use whatever polish finish you want, I imagine, but I'm telling you what I did for this particular look. I used Essie's Meet Me at Sunset for this one. Let dry and apply a second coat.

Step 4: Place a few drops of your second shade on a plate, bowl, napkin, or whatever you want to use for "dipping." I used Zoya's Tanzy and a dipping bowl I'm sure was intended for something other than nail polish. It came with my fancy chopsticks. Using a cosmetic sponge, dip the corner in your polish and, using short light strokes, dab onto the tips of your nails. Allow a few seconds to dry, then repeat. This time, though, dab a little further up on the nail to blend, but don't go all the way to the cuticle. Don't worry if it's not smooth. That's what your top coat is for.

Step 5: Apply a shiny top coat. I used Beauty Secrets Top Coat, which dries pretty quickly and leaves nails really shiny. Beauty Secrets is also a good deal at about $5-6 for a huge bottle.
Please don't judge my cuticles. The looked okay until I zoomed in...

Step 6: This one is kind of optional. Use your polish remover and a Q-tip to clean excess polish from cuticles. Honestly, I don't do this often. I wait for the polish to set completely and use a hand scrub to get the excess from my hands. I generally take polish from my nail if I use the Q-tip method and the scrub does great things for the rest of my hands, too. I'm currently using a homemade scrub of white granulated sugar with olive oil and honey. I'll find the recipe I used and post it another day.

There you have it. My secret is out. I also found this video from another blog that gives some great instruction for a glittery Ombre using a similar technique.

Not only is the Ombre a cool look and a way to add an interesting twist to your existing polishes, but it's also an easy way to camouflage chips and tip wear and extend the life of your manicure. Now, go to it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zoya Promotions (aka Free Stuff!)

You know what's awesome about Zoya? The promotions are insane. And by "insane," I mean "awesome."
Promotion #1:
Make a purchase from or and get a free bottle of Remove+. If you've never used Remove+, not only is the remover fantastic AND easy on your nails, but the bottle is sweet, too. Flip the top, place your cotton ball on top of the the dispenser and press down. It dispenses just the right about of polish for a small cotton ball. If you're using a jumbo cotton ball, you may need to press down twice. 
To get details, click here:
Promotion expired July 24, 2011

Promotion #2:
If you're like me and want to get a jump on the Smoke & Mirrors collections, or if you're new to Zoya and want to try before you buy, here's your chance. Just enter to win on Zoya's facebook page ( Winners will be selected August 19, 2011.

If you don't already, you can also follow Zoya on Twitter (@Zoya_NailPolish) or check out their blog ( to keep up on Zoya's great promotions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

John Frieda Precision Foam Color = Winning

Once upon a time, my hair was very low-maintenance. It was a medium brown color and aside from my lifelong battle with my natural texture, it was easy to handle.

Then, I turned 17 and got my first gray hair.

They popped up slowly at first, but by age 23, something had to be done. I am all for aging gracefully, but when you're a single 20-something, sharing a natural hair color with your mom is not so cool. I started with lowlights. I always liked my hair color better when it was wet and glossy.

Lowlights were great. They gave my hair more depth and shine, but it was really difficult to use foil at home (Trust me, I tried.), and $85 every few months was more than I wanted to pay to maintain the look.

So, I discovered the boxes of dye at the drugstore. Mom has been dying her hair forever, and I have been scarred with memories of the awful smell and watching Mom scrubbing the excess dye off her face and wrists and the counter and trying to bleach the color out of towels. Fortunately, hair coloring has improved dramatically over the years, and my experience was much less messy, but not exactly what I would call easy. I still found missed spots and found myself with the dreaded dye line when it started growing out.

When I saw the ad for John Freida's Precision Foam Color and heard the promises of no muss, no fuss hair color, I had to see if it was true.
Add caption
I've used it twice now (Dark Natural Brown the first try and Dark Chocolate Brown the second time), and here are my thoughts:

The Good: Application really is easy. Combine the chemicals into the foam bottle, mix carefully and squeeze the foam into your hand to apply. You get quality gloves, which sounds minor, but anyone who has ever used those awful plastic gloves that don't stay on your hands knows how much good gloves help. My hair is a medium length and somewhat fine, and I've had color leftover both times. The dye rinsed out pretty easily and left little or no stains on the towel. There were no patches to be found, and my hair will curl or straighten without requiring product. It's not a glossy shine, but it seems to have more depth and shimmer than some other colors.
My straightened hair.
Back view.

The Bad: For some reason, my hair is full of static for a few days after dying. I tried using my regular conditioner in place of the included conditioner, and it helped a little. With most dyes I've used, my hair is usually extra soft and extremely shiny for at least a week, and I have a hard time making it hold a curl. After the static dyed down, my hair isn't insanely soft, but I'm back to normal. Odd, though, that my hair can even get dry enough to be static-y in the summer humidity. That's really all that I disliked, and even then, it wasn't enough to deter me from a second use.

The other cool thing about John Freida is that the website has a color selector to help you decide, and it's pretty accurate.

All in all, I am likely to use John Freida again...since most of my products are from one of his lines. It may not be the best formula for winter because of the static, though.

Edit: John Frieda Precision Foam Color is available at most drigstores. I got mine at Target for $11.99. I don't remember what I bought to get them, but Target gave me coupons.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kickin' It Old School

So, as I was taking off my polish and deciding what to wear next when I came across an oldie but a goody. Ladies (and gentlemen), I give you Midnight Forest.
Midnight Forest
This beauty comes from Cover Girl and was anther Ebay find. I actually had a bottle...from junior high. I hadn't been able to give it up, and Zoya's Renew can only revive a 15 year old polish for so long. Now, I have an extra bottle. This makes me happy.
Indoors, Natural Light, No Flash

To get into the nitty gritty, the formula is not the greatest. The brush is awful, but if applied carefully, you can get a streak-free finish. It's really hard to capture this one with a camera because of all the different colors. The predominant color is obviously a pretty forest green. Indoor light can cause it to look like a deep plum. If you click on the picture below you can see the multicolor shimmer. Gorgeous. I'll give Cover Girl 15 years ago a pass on the formula because the color is fab.
See how pretty? I also have Mystic Peacock and Starry Blue from Cover Girl circa 1995-ish. I may be breaking these out again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fall 2011...So Much Pretty...

As a new beauty blogger and nail polish junkie, I feel it's my duty to preview the fall collections I'm starting to see. I will preface this by saying I do not own any of this polish (yet) and have not had the opportunity to view these in person. All I'm giving today are my thoughts and excitement level (and pictures).

First up: OPI Touring America
Top Row (Left to  Right): Uh Oh Roll Down the Window, Honk If You Love OPI, A-Taupe the Space Needle, French Quarter for Your Thoughts, Get in the Espresso Lane, Road House Blues
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Suzi Takes the Wheel, I Brake for Manicures, Are We There Yet?, Color to Dine For, I Eat Mainly Lobster, My Address is Hollywood

I really don't want to judge harshly, but I don't feel like there's a color here I don't already own. Maybe in person these colors have some unique qualities, but if that's the case, OPI needs to work on their photography. I've always had mixed feelings about OPI. I never look at an OPI display and feel like a kid in a candy store, and this collections is a perfect example of why. They may have the greatest formulas in the world, but how are we ever going to know that if they can't entice us to buy the product?

Next, we have China Glaze's Metro Collection
Uptown Collection (Left to Right): CG in the City, Urban Night, Traffic Jam, City Siren, Brownstone, Street Chic
Downtown Collection (Left to Right): Skyscraper, Concrete Catwalk, Westside Warrior, Trendsetter, Loft-y Ambitions, Midtown Magic
I like pretty every color in this collection. The pinks, purples and reds aren't dramatically different from anyting I already own, but that doesn't mean I don't want them. I think the only color I wouldn't wear is Trendsetter, and not because I don't like it. Bright yellow and my skin are not the greatest combination in the world. CG in the City and Concrete Catwalk are the most intriguing to me so far.

Moving along, we have Color Club's Back to Boho.
I am really digging this collection. Combined, you get the Boho-chic aesthetic, but individually, the colors don't scream "I spend all my days watching 'That 70's Show' and smoking weed." Voodoo You Do, Blue-topia and Rad Nomad are my favorites based on these pictures. I also loves that this collection has a wide range of colors. They're not all bold or dark or pale or anything but pretty.

Essie's Brand New Bag Collection is next. I've seen two sets of pictures, neither of them from Essie's website, so I'm not sure which is more accurate. I'm posting both sets. 

Top Row (Left to Right): Case Study, Carry On, Glamour Purse
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Very Structured, Lady Like, Power Clutch

I haven't decided if I like the dark or light version better. Either way, I know Carry On and Power Clutch look awesome. Lady Like looks like it would be lovely on me, too. Knowing Essie, the formula is great no matter what.

**Update 7/28/11: Neither picture is 100% accurate, but the darker picture of the Brand New Bag collection is closer to the real thing, based on the bottles I found at CVS.**

This brings me to the grand finale: Zoya's Smoke & Mirrors Collection.

Top Row (Left to Right): Jana, Petra, Dree, Cynthia, Codie, Anja
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Jem, Neeka, Yara, Tao, Marina, Numue
I could sum these up in 7 words: I WANT THEM. I WANT THEM ALL. Now that I have that little outburst out of my system, I love, love, LOVE these colors. Like Color Club, Zoya is bringing us a range of lights and darks, not one of them could pass for something already in my collection and they work as a great transition from summer's brights to the traditionally muted colors of fall. I keep trying to pick a favorite, but I change my mind as soon as I look at the pictures again. Perhaps if Zoya sent me the set to try on, I may be able to make a decision...

All in all, I am loving what's in store for fall. If you think of something I missed, or you want to sent me stuff to post about, just let me know.