China Glaze Zombie Zest

Three coats, sunlight

So… it appears I’m about two years late with this nail polish. Never mind! Halloween is just round the corner again and here we visit an old polish from China Glaze’s 2010 Halloween collection. Zombie Zest (don’t you just love the name.. Rawr Rawr) is a green/olive jelly filled with mainly yellow shimmer. I love this shade of green. It’s quite a murky Swamp Thing colour. What’s the Swamp Thing I hear? Behold:

I’m not sure if anyone remembers the Swamp Thing but I remember watching this on television about this plant/human character. I’m not even what his superpowers are anymore but surely he has some since he’s part of the DC Comics universe.

2 coats, sunlight

But back to the polish. As you can see, three coats are needed because you can still see my nail after two coats. I guess all jellies seem to require more than two coats for opacity.

With NARS Zulu, sunlight

Here I paired Zombie Zest with another jelly, the cult favourite NARS Zulu. Like Zombie Zest, Zulu is a jelly and I painted three coats for this look. I really liked this pairing and wore it for one whole week. This also received compliments from people who thought the combination was interesting.

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OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Where are the Pyrenees? They are a chain of mountains in southwest Europe that borders France and Spain. This is very apt, considering that the polish is part of OPI’s Fall 2009 Spain collection. As you can see, two coats are inadequate. There are bald spots and the colour is less dense than ideal.

With three coats, you can see this polish is its full jelly grey glory. I decided to compare it with NARS Midnight Express because I thought they had similar consistencies. Both had a jelly texture, albeit Midnight Express more so than Suzi, while Suzi had a very subtle shimmer. I really like this polish. It somehow manages to be soft and dark at the same time.

With China Glaze Millenium and silver striper pen

I wore this look for a week, which is a long time for Poppynails-land.

OPI Dating a Royal

2 coats, sunlight

OPI Dating a Royal is a deep bright blue creme from the Mod About Brights collection. It has a semi-jelly texture which makes it incredibly shiny. You can spot the reflection of flats behind me in the second picture. The jelly texture also means that you have to be careful to cover all bald spots. Too light a brush stroke will easily leave you with patches of lighter blue. I recommend three coats to be perfect.

One reason why I am so enamoured with this polish is that it’s the colour of one of my favourite rocks the lapis lazuli, which is found mainly in the mines of Afghanistan. My lapis lazuli ring (pictured above) was bought from Montpellier, France, which sold lots of other nice gemstones as well. If you’re a Vampire Diaries fan, you would also know that Lapis Lazuli was worn by several vampires as protection against the sun.

With OPI Crown Me Already (silver glitter) and Nicole Glitz and Glisten (purple glitter), sunlight

China Glaze Raspberry Festival

2 coats, sunlight

I was looking through some old photographs and chanced upon this really old swatch of China Glaze Raspberry Festival. This is a raspberry red with silver glass fleck shimmer. I’m salivating looking at all this juiciness.

With China Glaze Ruby Pumps, night

For the life of me, I cannot remember why this photograph is so bad. But here’s a comparison with Ruby Pumps, which is a much deeper red and contains bright red glitter. You cannot tell from this crappy ass photo but Ruby Pumps is 10 times more gorgeous. Seriously, it’s like Raspberry Festival’s sophisticated sister.

With Essie Matte About You

Raspberries mattified! I asked Tom if this looked like raspberries to him because they are his favourite fruit. He said the nails looked more like dragon fruit…!

Nubar 2010

1 coat of Nubar 2010 with NARS Midnight Express, sunlight

Nubar 2010 is a clear polish filled with multicoloured duochrome flakies. On a blue base, I see mainly green, orange and yellow, with the colours changing depending on the light. The different flake sizes also make it interesting. Some are big, others are smaller.

1 coat with OPI Nicole The Grape Debate, sunlight

On a dark purple base, I see a lot more orange than the other two colours. Overall, it’s an incredible polish for layering and an interesting twist to just plain glitter. I’m beginning to like Nubar a lot, seeing as how the two polishes I have from this line are incredible.

Nubar can be purchased off eBay to Singapore at a reasonable price.

NARS Midnight Express

2 coats, sunlight

NARS Midnight Express is an inky blue in a jelly formula that is akin to NARS Zulu. This was re-released as part of NARS Vintage collection last year. I prefer this to Zulu. While Zulu looks black most of the time, Midnight Express is undeniably blue even when the lighting is poorer. Like Zulu, the application is somewhat uneven with only coats. Parts of the nail where I used a heavier hand showed up darker, while other parts were lighter. A third coat would have evened things out but I was afraid that the colour would end up looking black.

1 coat, sunlight

Here’s one coat just to show you how blue it was initially before I started layering it on.

Serena’s nails, with OPI Alpine Snow (matte), glittery silver nail striper pen, sunlight

With Orly Snowcone, Orly Pointe Blanche, sunlight

…. And with white nail striper pen, China Glaze Millenium, artificial light

Here are some of the designs we tried with Midnight Express. The last attempt was a bit out of hand as there were way too many things going on!

NARS Zulu

2 coats, sunlight

NARS Zulu from the Vintage Nail collection 2010! This was another goodie I picked up from Hong Kong. For years now, Zulu was revered as one those super hard to find collectors’ polishes. Now that NARS has re-released this shade, it means that people late to the party can get their hands on the coveted colour. Now onto the colour description: this is a dark green jelly that dries super glossy (no top coat here). Formula was good, only marred by the small brush and the un-ergonomic square cap. There is some streakiness because I’m not used to the tiny brush and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make the polish neat along the cuticles.

1 coat Zulu vs 1 coat OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, sunlight

I thought Zulu would be really similar to OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, so I did a comparison swatch. A huge difference when it’s just one coat! Zulu is a rich forest green and Aragon (ring and pinkie) is mossy and a lot less opaque.

2 coats Zulu vs 3 coats Aragon, sunlight

At full opacity though, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference, given that both belong in the almost-black categories. It will most certainly fail the boyfriend test (“Which colour do you prefer, dear?” “Err… they are both the same, aren’t they?” “No no… they are different!” “Err… they are both black, no?”)

2 coats Zulu vs 2 coats China Glaze Wagon Trail

So here’s another comparion with another near-black colour, China Glaze Wagon Trail. There is a clear difference this time, largely because of the golden-olive shimmer in Wagon Trail.

China Glaze Dorothy Who

China Glaze Dorothy Who is from the re-released Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection in 2009. The first picture shows the accurate colour, while the second picture was taken in direct sunlight, so the colour is a bit washed out. The polish is packed with silver and blue glitter in a semi-sheer blue jelly base. I used two coats on some nails and three on others, so you can vaguely see my nail line in several nails.

I’m in two minds about this colour. While I like this shade of blue, the silver glitter makes it look rather… cheap? I would prefer if it were a blue Ruby Pumps, ie a blue base with blue glitter. I kept staring at my nails the whole day because they were so flashy and I love the way the light bounced off the glitter… gah… but the silver…!

Better on my toes, I think!

China Glaze Ruby Pumps

Serena wears one of China Glaze’s most famous lacquers Ruby Pumps. It is a classic red with a big difference. There are red glitter pieces suspended in its jelly formula that sparkle and blinds you in the sunlight.

The only criticism I have is that I need to apply three coats to achieve this red colour (I am very impatient and I usually do this during lunch hour, so you can imagine the stress). The first application turned out pink, the second was purple and it was only after the third layer could you achieve bottle colour.

Ruby Pumps against her polka dotted dress.

Zoya Raven

Zoya Raven is a black jelly with an almost imperceptible sliver shimmer. I see some slight silver flecks in my bottle, but I don’t see them on my nails at all. Scrangie says that it is an exact dupe to Chanel’s Black Satin. While I like the jelly finish, I found application a pain because the formula was so thick. The first layer was okay but the polish started pooling on the second application. Perhaps I should have waited longer in between coats.

And because I enjoy having many colours on my nails, I could not resist adding Zoya’s Ivanka on the tips. Zoya describes it as a “mermaid green sparkling metallic. An expensive-looking metallic shade for summer”. One day, I’m going to apply these super sparkly colours on their own. The picture above was taken with flash to show you the green sparkles.