Sunday, October 28, 2012

...before the storm

Took some pictures while we were out and about around the city yesterday. Some really bad weather is headed our way over the next few days. Even though the sky was ominous, it was nice to take a long walk and be outside as there's a possibility we may be indoors for quite a bit until this passes.

Be safe, everyone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two Birds Polish: Shines By Night

I am very excited to share with you a lovely polish by Two BirdsTwo Birds is a polish line created by sisters Sarah and Sandy. Sarah (who you may know from her blog See Sarah Swatch) was kind enough to send me a few Two Birds polishes to review for you and wow, are you in for a treat :)

Shines by Night from the Shadow Goddesses Collection was the first polish I tried out. I was immediately drawn to the glowing green and blue glitter floating in a black base. Upon closer examination, Shines by Night contains large green hexagonal glitter, smaller blue square glitter, and tiny green flecks in a black jelly base.

I had no trouble getting the glitter pieces out, not even with the big ones. To apply: I didn't use a traditional brush stroke, and instead "blobbed" it on (technical, I know). I wore (2) coats of Shines by Night over Essie's Dive Bar because I thought the base was dark blue. I would recommend using an opaque black base coat instead. While the black jelly in Shines by Night is quite opaque itself and actually covered up any trace of Dive Bar, having a solid base will allow you to push around and position - "blob", if you will - the glitter without having to worry about creating any bald spots.


Here is the inspiration behind this polish (from the Two Birds Etsy listing for Shines by Night):
Inspired by Selene, known as the Goddess of the Moon, and sometimes called Luna. Selene would pull the moon across the sky at night in her chariot. Shine by Night refers to an inscription found at a Roman temple to Luna that reads "Shines by night". Shine by Night is a black jelly base with chunky green shimmer, matte blue squares, and emerald green hexes, both small and large. To learn more about Selene, go to this site:
The recipe of large green hex glitter and blue glitter in a dark base may seem similar to Deborah Lippmann's Across the Universe, but there are differences between the two polishes that keep them from being true dupes. Shines by Night is black based and the hexagonal glitter is larger and uniformly green. Across the Universe has a dark blue base and contains a large dose of tiny blue glitter. I don't own Across the Universe or I would show you a side-by-side comparison :)

I am very impressed with my first Two Birds polish and am in love with Shines by NightTwo Birds polishes are $8.00, are 3 Free, and can be purchased on Etsy: As of today, Shines by Night is in stock :)

Head over to the Two Birds Facebook page for all the latest updates - have you seen pictures of the holiday collection? Check out Santa's Underpants!

Update: My bottle is labeled Shines by Night - I noticed on Etsy the polish is listed as Shine by Night.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Cultoberfest! Cult Nails Annalicious


I read on Maria's blog that October is Cultoberfest so what better time to share a Cult Nails polish!

Annalicious was one of the polishes in my gift bag from Cult Nails bowling. I had read rave reviews online of Annalicious and after trying it can say the glowing reviews are well deserved. This shade of red is unreal and yes, you really do need to see it to believe it.

Annalicious is a bright firey red with glowing gold shimmer. The formula is perfection and has a touch of 'jelly' in it so that the gold shimmer shows through. While (1) coat of Annalicious is impressively pigmented, I used (2) because I saw a faint nail line showing through at the tips. If you've been reading Gotham Polish for a while you may have caught on that I am quite picky about labeling a polish a (1) coater :)

The gold shimmer was tricky to capture in a photo of my nails, but below you can see it clinging to the side of the bottle. The gold shimmer is more pronounced in the bottle than on the nail, but it certainly adds a special touch to this polish.


Annalicious taken with flash - look how it glows!

Cult Nails polishes retail for $10 and can be purchased online: Check out Maria's blog for the latest and greatest from Cult Nails!

Here are some more pictures of Annalicious on the street.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Inspiration: Illamasqua Generation Q

Happy weekend! What are you up to? We're just having some coffee and breakfast here before heading downtown to the dog Halloween parade. I will be Tweeting pics for you :) (Last year)

Have you seen this video from Illamasqua featuring the Generation Q collection? Did you catch the polishes Creator and Charisma featured in the beginning? I love the half-moon manicure with these colors.

In NYC, Illamasqua products are available at Sephora and the polishes retail for $14.00. Do you have Creator or Charisma? Are they on your holiday wish list?

PS - If you're reading this in a feed, there's a special new Halloween header up on Gotham Polish you should check out :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

butter LONDON Holiday 2012: Jack The Lad

In British slang, Jack the Lad is "an irresponsible young man seeking personal pleasure with regard to responsibilities". As part of butter LONDON's 2012 holiday collection, Jack the Lad is a STUNNING blackened evergreen polish with gold, turquoise, and green micro shimmer. This "bad boy" is certainly going to get a lot of attention this holiday season!

I've seen deep, dark polishes with flashy shimmer before, but they usually leave me disappointed. You know, the ones that look gorgeous in the bottle with all the shimmer clinging to the side but then it doesn't show up on the nail? I bet you can think of a few polishes like that. Jack the Lad, however, delivers the goods and that fantastic complex shimmer dazzles on the nail.

The formula is sheer but not runny. I used (3) coats because I noticed some bald spots after (2) coats. I wish the formula were a little more opaque, but I think it's the sheerness that lets the layers of shimmer shine through. Jack the Lad dries a little gritty and slightly matte so I added one coat of Butter's Hardwear P. D. Quick top coat (review) to smooth it out and add shine.

The photos in the light box picked up a lot of the blue tones. In this next photo with flash you can see the mossy evergreen hue better:

This is an expensive looking polish, don't you think? I simply adore it!

The Holiday 2012 lacquer collection includes Fiddlesticks, Scuppered, Jack the Lad, Fairy Cake, and Scallywag. butter LONDON polishes retail for $14.

In New York City, my favorite retailers of Butter products are C.O. Bigelow, Ricky's, and now Henri Bendel. There are many more! Here is a list of retailers in New York City that carry Butter nail polish.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spotted: Revlon's Holiday 2012 Nail Polishes "Just Add Sparkle"


Today I came across Revlon's Holiday nail polish display at Bed Bath & Beyond and Tweeted these pictures. I came home and wanted to read more about this collection, but couldn't find ANYTHING about it, so here you have a (really low quality) first look at this collection :)

I usual snap a picture of the names of the polishes, but really wasn't planning on posting this and figured someone would have information about them. So if you know the names, please let me know and I'll update!

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Dollhouse, the polishes are:

The black/blue is Midnight Sparkle.
The purple/bar is Brilliant Bordeaux.
The gold is Sequins.
The red/bar is Ruby Ribbon (I'm 95% sure).

Thanks, Dollhouse!!!

Top: shimmery magenta with holo bar glitter
Bottom: inky blue jelly with large blue glitter (similar in idea to Revlon's Facets of Fuchsia)

Top: shimmer purple with holo bar glitter
Bottom: large and small gold glitter (also ala Facets of Fuchsia)

Quite a nice little collection, don't you think?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Zoya Ornate Winter/Holiday Nail Polish Collection

Yes, it is still October and the leaves haven't even started to change here, but how can you not get excited about the holidays when polishes like these are available now?

I've been dreaming of Zoya's Ornate winter/holiday collection since first laying eyes on it backstage at Rafael Cennamo during New York Fashion Week. As impressive as the little tiny preview swatches were, believe me that these six polishes are even more amazing in person.


Aurora is a jelly purple with holo flecks. This polish is simply stunning. One coat looks a little thin, but this thinner formula lets the holo particles strongly shine through. You won't mind using three coats of Aurora - as you add each layer, the purple intensifies and the holo flecks sink deeper, but still show through, creating amazing depth.

Aurora with flash:


Blaze is a berry red/deep magenta holo. While still a jelly, this formula was the best of the three holos and covers very evenly. On the nail, the holo flecks in Blaze are tinted magenta because the jelly is more densely pigmented than Aurora. I used three coats here to get a really deep berry color, but you could wear two or even one coat and get a lighter color and your manicure would still look very even.

Blaze with flash - this is more color accurate:


Storm is a dark black jelly speckled with holo particles. It blows my mind that a polish can be so black and still flash holo at the same time - the holo doesn't grey out the black, and the black doesn't swallow up the holo. I used two thick coats here but would recommend using three thin coats instead.


Storm with flash:

What's great about these three holos is that even in low light, the holo particles glisten. Unlike a linear holo polish, Aurora, Blaze, and Storm don't look dull or grey indoors. I also love that the holo particles are imperfectly shaped flecks as opposed to a more traditional round shape.


Logan is an bluish-green shimmery foil with gold flecks. This polish is pure magic and almost has a mermaid-y look to it. In any other collection, Logan would be the stand out. It's almost not fair to put it in a collection with holos - while everyone will be raving about the holos, I hope Logan gets the attention it deserves. I used two coats.


Ziv is a metallic gold foil. This is a complex polish because there are larger and more yellow gold flecks mixed in to create a lovely texture. Because of this texture, Ziv is not Trixie's gold twin sister. The formula is a little runny so do lean on the thin side when applying. Heads up: You will have gold fleck remnants on your fingers when you remove Ziv :)


Electra is a densely packed holo bar glitter. Hello, New Year's Eve polish! Electra is not shy and is the perfect accessory to dress up any polish.

Here is one thin coat of Electra over BlazeElectra is easy to apply and goes exactly where you want it to. I applied Electra with crosshatch brush strokes so the bars ended up going in different directions. Side note: Does anyone else think of Wooly Willy when they see bar glitter?

Here's another way to wear Electra (shown over Aurora). I must have been feeling inspired by the Zang Toi look ;) Tip: When you're done applying Electra, swipe your brush across the top of your nail to get rid of any bars that are sticking out over the edge.

Electra also make a great accent nail. I'm not sure how many coats this is because I just blobbed it on a few times and covered up any empty spots.

No matter how you wear it, just have fun with Electra! It's totally ridiculous and awesome.

Zoya's Ornate collection is the perfect holiday set - not only is there a color to wear to every party this season, but this is a collection of polishes you'll love to give or to get.

Zoya nail polishes retail for $8.00 and the Ornate Winter/Holiday collection is available online. In New York City, Zoya can be purchased at several locations including Gideon's Drugs (1385 Broadway, corner of 38th St) and Ulta in the Rego Park Center. The Ornate polishes should be in stock soon. See the full list of retailers here.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Zoya at NYFW: Backstage at Zang Toi Spring 2013

The Zang Toi Spring 2013 fashion show was highly anticipated for many reasons - elegant ball gowns? Yes, please! But nail polish lovers were eagerly awaiting the debut of Zoya's custom colors. The creative minds at Zoya partnered with the designer to develop custom colors to debut on the runway and release online in a limited edition collection.

Zang Toi's Spring 2013 collection was simply enchanting. The dreamy dresses that floated down the runway were Zang Toi's interpretation of a modern ice princess. The colors and fabrics used in the ballgowns - a pastel yellow, a cool toned lavender and a baby soft pink - were the inspiration for Zoya's custom colors.

After color matching, Zoya's color expert Rebecca Isa wanted to further capture the ice princess look. "If you're going to reflect the idea of an ice princess", Ms. Isa said, "the color should have the look of an icicle". A micro grind glass crystal particle was added to the color "so that it catches the light and makes the nail look icy as if there's little ice crystals or snowflakes on the nail". Three polishes were created: Piaf, an icy lemon, Julie, an icy cool lilac, and Gei Gei, an icy baby pink. All three shades have the micro diamond particle shimmer finish and perfectly capture the look of Zang Toi's ice princess.

While three polishes were created, the final look for the runway was the lavender polish Julie worn with a silver French tip Trixie (which was renamed Ice Princess for the occasion). Ms. Isa described this look as a "modern French" because the silver bar covers one third of the nail bed. While this wide French tip might look exaggerated in person, the silver is noticeable on the runway even from far away.

A model shows off her finished nails


No tricks or tools were used to create the French tip - just a steady hand and a good eye. Zoya's Fast Drops Drying Drops were used to quickly set the manicures. There's no time to waste backstage at Fashion Week!


A model waits patiently for her nails to dry

Zoya had a great presence backstage. Don't you just love that poster?

Thumb to pinky I wore Zoya Noot, Kristen, Caitlyn, Fei Fei over Natty, and Natty

The Zang Toi Zoya nail polish collection did sell out, but hopefully Zoya will re-release some of these shades as part of their spring collection.

I have swatches of the polishes and pictures from the runway show to share with you soon - you're going to LOVE the dresses!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Discovering Columbus

No polish today - wanted to share something different that I hope you will enjoy :)

A few weekends ago, my boyfriend and I visited a very unique art exhibit in New York City - Tatzu Nishi's Discovering Columbus. The Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle has looked down on Broadway since 1892 and Mr. Nishi's installation allows visitors to view the monument like never before - up close and personal!

You climb up about six flights of stairs built around the statue, walk through a hallway that looks like someone's apartment building, enter the living room, and... oh, hey there, Columbus!

I love that the visitors settled right into the space. There were magazine, newspapers, and a flat screen TV. It was as if a dozen strangers got together and were just hanging out in someone's living room. They were - gasp - talking to each other. Someone's baby was crawling around. The people made up an important part of this exhibit as much as the statue itself.

More pictures and information how to get free tickets...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Birchbox & Color Club Exclusive Nail Polish Collection

One the most exciting products offered at the Birchbox Sample Stop was an exclusive collection of Color Club polishes!

If you update your polish nearly as often as you check your Twitter feed, you’re not alone. We designed this share-worthy custom collection with Color Club for all the social media addicts out there. You’ll be inspired to tweet, pin, tag, and post these four gorgeous shades with your followers.


If you read no further, just believe me and head over to Birchbox and buy this color. Insta-This is so full of win - it is a bright, vivid, and electric blue. This polish is in the same vein as RBL IKB or Revlon Royal but appears to be even brighter. At first, the formula was quite dreadful and applied patchy. But this inconsistency must have been because the little samples sized bottles are hard to shake up as the formula improved immensely as I polished each nail. I used only two coats and found that the color darkened slightly when dry. I am crazy in love with Insta-This and it has easily has secured a spot on my top 10 of 2012 list.

two coats of Insta-This

Tweet Me

Like Insta-This, at first the formula of Tweet Me was thick and streaky but improved after a really good shake. This chartreuse polish is cute but there are similar polishes out there. Tweet Me is a lovely option if this kind of yellowy-green shade is missing from your polish collection. This probably isn't a color your would wear all the time - if you already have OPI Did It On 'Em, OCC Wasabi, or either of the greens from OPI's Shrek collection, you probably don't need Tweet Me.

two coats of Tweet Me

Put a Pin In It

Put a Pin In It is a lovely rose gold foil. This polish isn't streaky and because it is almost a one-coater, Put a Pin In It will be great for stamping. Even though it is a shiny foil, I think it could pass as a work-appropriate neutral as the pinky tones keep it from looking as bold as a bright white silver polish. I do wish it was called "I Find You P-Interesting" instead ;)

two coats of Put a Pin In It

Insta-This and Tweet Me were made for each other. A polka dot design with these two colors ended up looking like a dino egg manicure. You don't need any fancy tools to make dots. I made my polka dots by dipping the end of a small paint brush into my nail polish brush to pick up a little color and then gently made dots on my nails. I've heard that bobby pin heads and pencil tips are also adequate. It's not that I'm opposed to dotting tools - I just don't have any :)

The Birchbox & Color Club Exclusive Polishes are available now for $8 (and free shipping) online.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekend Shopping: New Joe Fresh polishes, Color Club holos, and More!

Happy weekend! Can you believe it's already October? It seems that it was just 80 degrees and we were wearing shorts. Oh wait, that really was today. Our big weekend plans include watching Hunger Games on DVD - we've had it on reserve at the NY Public Library since it was released in August and it finally came in ;)

This week in nail polish shopping, there are some new polishes available and sales to be found:

A new crate of Essie has landed at TJ Maxx under the Queensboro Bridge in Manhattan. Polishes are $3.99 and include Da Bush, Lion Around, and Case Study. There were also OPI and NOPI duos for $7.99. All OPI sets included Black Shatter and another polish.

The long awaited Color Club holo collection Halo Hues polishes are available online now:

You can still enter to win the CIRQUE All Hallow's Eve collection - enter here through Sunday.

Have you pre-ordered the Zoya Ornate Holiday Collection yet? Do it here.

I spotted these new polishes for fall at Joe Fresh on 16th St and 5th Ave:

Mulberry (bottom) and Evergreen (top)

Mulberry (bottom) and Evergreen (top)

Ruby (bottom) and Cinnamon (top)

Ruby (bottom) and Cinnamon (top)

In other news, the Essentials located at 123 5th Ave (between 19th and 20th St) has closed. The uptown location (called Essentials Plus) at 2259 Broadway (between 80 and 81st St) remains open.

What's on your weekend shopping list?