Don't forget to check the beauty sale pages at Macy's here and
Nordstrom here for new beauty deals plus free shipping!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Swatches & First Impressions: NYC Summer 2014 Limited Edition City Samba Collection

The Summer 2014 Limited Edition City Samba Collection by NYC is scheduled to hit drugstores this month. If you haven't seen in at your local Rite Aid, Kmart or CVS yet, keep checking--it should be landing any minute now!

I received the entire collection for review recently. Since there are several items in this collection, I thought I'd share swatches and first impressions so that you'll be ready to grab what you want as soon as you spot the display! Let's take a look...

UPDATE: But first, here are pics of the display, which I spotted today (6/25/14) at Rite Aid:

Notice that there's are $1 off tear-pad coupons on this display:

These coupons are for $1 off any NYC product that retails for $1.72 or more. All of the items in the City Samba colletion retail for $1.99 and up, so you're good to to (I whited out the barcode in the pic above, just for prevent fraudulent duplication).

NYC Summer 2014 Limited Edition City Samba Collection
(retail: $1.99 - $4.99)

ALL of the products in this collection are limited edition. Let's start with the In A New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polishes ($1.99 each, 0.33 oz). There are seven shades in this collection:

Jacaranda Flower
(two coats, no top coat)

Jacaranda Flower is a deep, cool-toned lavender. The formula on this one was great--no issues at all and it only required two coats for great opacity.

Palm on the Beach
(two coats, no top coat)

Palm on the Beach is a little chameleon. In certain lights it leans a little teal, while in other lights it looks more like a kelly green and the yellow undertone is more visible. Either way, it's a lovely creme and the formula was great--two coats for perfect opacity. I don't think I have a shade quite like this (although I have similar shades, of course--I just don't think I have an exact dupe). I think this might be my favorite of the bunch.

Amazon Green
(two coats, no top coat)

Amazon Green surprised me. I didn't expect there to be a frost in this collection but NYC gave us one--and a mint green frost to boot.  I can't remember the last time I saw a mint green frost at the drugstore, and I'm wondering if NYC wanted to give us something totally different from the mint green in say, the Spring 2012 City Sweets Collection. The mint green in that collection was a creme, and this is...definitely not! I'm not a big frost finish fan, and this one was a bit difficult to apply. It was sheer and streaky on the first coat but it did become opaque on the second coat. You can see that there are lots of brush strokes (as is the case with frosts) but it's also a little bit thick and goopy. It doesn't want to self-level, but you can fix that with a good top coat. I think I'm more shocked than anything about this color--I think some of us were expecting a mint creme with maybe some hidden shimmer, right?

Sweet Melon
(three coats, no top coat)

Speaking of hidden shimmer, Sweet Melon has some lovely, light pink hidden shimmer to it. It's a very pretty orangey-peach creme but I did have some application issues with this one. It's streaky and it definitely requires three coats for good opacity, but it's also a little bit goopy and it doesn't want to self-level (but again, you can fix that with a good top coat). It wasn't a super easy polish to apply, but I think it might be worth the trouble if you have a deeper skintone than mine. I think it would look gorgeous on skintones that are say, NC40 or deeper.

(three coats, no top coat)

Copabanana (how fun is that name?) is a bright, cheery yellow with hidden yellow shimmer. I needed three coats for this one but it was a bit easier to work with than Sweet Melon (it wasn't as goopy as Sweet Melon). Again, it didn't want to self-level, but you can fix that with top coat. 

(two coats, no top coat)

Tropicoral is a lovely coral creme that leans more pink than orange. I had to color-adjust this photo to get the shade a bit more true to what I'm seeing in real life, but it's a bit more pink than what you see here. The formula on this one was nice--I only needed two coats for perfect opacity and I had no issues with application. Again, it didn't level completely after it dried, but you know how to fix that! 

Carnival Red
(two coats, no top coat)

Carnival Red is a bright cherry-tomato-red creme with a great and easy-to-work with formula. I only needed two coats for perfect opacity and I probably could have gotten away with just one generous coat if I was in a hurry.

One more thing about these polishes: they all dried very quickly, even after multiple coats. I also didn't experience any staining after removal, although Palm on the Beach did cling to my cuticles a little bit.

Next up, the Show Time Nail Art polishes:

NYC Show Time Nail Art in Pinkasso, Silverism and Black Ink
(retail: $1.99 each, 0.13 oz)

These are traditional nail art stripers with a very thin, long brush:

I suck at nail art and using stripers, but here's my attempt at using two of these shades over Carnival Red:

Silverism and Black Ink over Carnival Red

As you can see, the silver is quite opaque and it's a nice, smooth formula as well. The black shade was a little bit streaky in spots, but not terrible. The pink shade (not shown above) was the most difficult to work with. It was sheer and goopy and I just couldn't get a clean, consistent line with it. I would certainly recommend Silverism though--I think that would also be a great polish for stamping since it's so opaque. 

Next up, the Liquid Lipshines:

Liquid Lipshine Lip Glosses in Papaia, Passion Fruit and Guava
(retail: $1.99 each, 0.24 oz)

As I've mentioned many times before, I LOVE the NYC Liquid Lipshines--they have a great vanilla flavor and fragrance, the staying power is quite nice for glosses and they feel great on the lips (not heavy or terribly sticky). Plus, they come in some great, wearable colors, and these LE shades are certainly no exception.

Two of the three shades here contain sparkle (Guava is a creme with no sparkle or shimmer). Here's a pic in lower light--you can see the sparkle a bit better here:

The sparkle in Papaia and Passion Fruit is not gritty at all--you can't feel it at all when you're wearing these glosses.


Passion Fruit

NOTE: My camera is making Passion Fruit look very orange in the above photo--in real life it's a pinky-peach shade. My swatch below is much more accurate.


Papaia, Passion Fruit, Guava

Papaia reads as a sparkly clear gloss on my medium-pigmented lips. Passion Fruit is a pinky-peach shade on my skin. It delivers a very soft wash of color on my medium-pigmented lips. Guava is my favorite of the three. It is a bright berry creme and it is very pigmented and opaque. Depending on how much you apply, you can get a lovely, sheer wash of color, or almost a liquid lipstick effect if you apply a bit more.

The sparkle in the first two shades is difficult to see in my pic above, so here's a photo in lower lighting--hopefully you can see the sparkle a tiny bit better here (in real life it's more visible):

And last but not least, the Sun 'n' Bronzer Bronzing Powders:

Sun 'n' Bronze Bronzing Powders in Rosa Rio and Coral Samba
(retail: $4.99 each, 0.24 oz)

Rosa Rio

Rosa Rio swatched separately

Rosa Rio swatched after swirling all three colors

Rosa Rio is a lovely golden-peach-champagne shade that would be a beautiful highlighter for lighter skintones. On my NC20 skintone, it delivers a soft peachy-champagne-golden glow. It's subtle, and I think that if your skintone is deeper than mine, it might end up delivering shimmer/sparkle but not much color. If you are my skintone or more fair than I am, I think you'll probably see some nice, subtle color with this one in addition to the shimmer and sparkle. By the way, the sparkle sort of falls away after blending. If you're not a big glitter fan when it comes to face powders (I personally am not), you won't have to be worry about this one--it's not a glitter bomb.

Coral Samba

Coral Samba swatched separately

Coral Samba swatched after swirling all three colors

My photos do not do Coral Samba justice. It is a beautiful golden-peachy-bronze shade that works as both a bronzer and also as a blush on my NC20 skintone. I actually prefer it as a blush on me--it just delivers such a lovely sunkissed, warm, peachy golden bronzey look to my's a winner! For deeper skintones, I think this would be an absolutely gorgeous highlighter. I think it's just one of those shades that can work on just about everyone, depending on how you use it. Also, even though this does contain glitter, just like with Rosa Rio, most of the glitter falls away after blending--it's not a glitter bomb.

My must-haves from this collection: In a New York Minute Nail Color in Palm on the Beach, Liquid Lipshine in Guava, and both of the Sun 'n' Bronze Bronzing Powders. If you can only get one of the bronzing powders, make it Coral Samba. And if you're a nail stamper, you might want to consider the Show Time Nail Art polish in Silverism--I think it might be great for stamping due to its opacity. 

Have you spotted the NYC City Samba Collection in your area yet? Remember that everything here is limited edition, so don't wait when you see the display--grab what you want when you see it or it may be gone the next time you're at the drugstore!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews. For more information, click here.


  1. just when i thought i didnt need any more coral nail polish :(. A lot of pretty things in this collection and with the nyc price its so tempting !

  2. My plan is simple. All the polish and all the gloss. I think Coral Samba needs to come home with me. I started looking first thing this morning G. when I saw your IG. So far no luck!

  3. Thank you so much. I know which ones I want ... I willwas come back later to list them. There is a severe thunder storm heading our way in an hour... no store for me tonight... but my CVS and rite aid are open 24 hours... hmmm

    1. Storm over... all safe.

      Soon I'll look for all the polishes except the melon and yellow ones. Heck, I might get them too. Why not, I'm worth it. Layer is my thing, so if the polish is not a good color for me it will be when I throw another polish on top.

      Yesterday I wore one on my NYC closes and adores the vanilla flavor and pop of color. The darker color in this display will be coming home with me. So yummy!

  4. This looks like such a fun collection! I wonder if Rosa Rio could be a dupe for that Too Faced Sweethearts blush in Peach Beach. Probably far off but for whatever reason I thought of that when I saw your swatch of all the shades swirled together. So pretty!

  5. Coral Samba is BEAUTIFUL! I will definitely pick it up if I spot it in store :)

  6. Thanks for the swatches. I'm hoping to find the papaya and passion fruit lip glosses in stores soon!

  7. I do believe you're right about the I put my NW45 finger up to the screen :D

  8. Coral Samba looks super great. I need to get it! Thanks for the swatches. ^^

  9. Oooh, lots of nice polishes in this collection! A lot of the colors actually remind me of the OPI Brazil collection. The lip glosses and bronzers look great, too! I'll definitely keep an eye out for this collection. :)

  10. Too bad that there is no NYC in Germany. The polishes look very nice and I also like the Bronzing Powders.

  11. The polish colors are very pretty. I'm heading to my local, cvs, walgreens, kmart to see if any of them have the colors. Nice swatches

  12. I'm a bit confused with the one I picked up - 706 Hamptons Radiance. It's 1 of 4 but I don't think it's in the Samba collection. I really like Rosa Rio because I was looking for something with more pink in it. Mine is still unopened but I haven't seen the Samba collection in my area. Not sure whether or not to hold out for the pink-toned one.

  13. I'm really looking forward to getting some of these colors! Palm on the Beach, Tropicoral and Carnival Red are my picks!

  14. I might not have to get the new Zoya coral now that I've seen your swatches! Tropicoral looks to be right up my alley! I'm also eyeing that Sweet would make a fantastic pedi with Tropicoral! My feet need to hurry up and get tan! LOL

    That Coral Samba looks fabulous!! It'll go right into my summer makeup routine nicely.

    I think I might have to get the Lipshines in Passion Fruit & summer complexion just screams for it.

    I wasn't going to check your blog today (was swamped at work yesterday) but I gave in. Good thing too! LOL


  15. it's been awhile since anything nyc has caught my eye , but i'm LOVING Palm On The Beach as well as both of the bronzing powders .

    thank you for the swatches , g !!!!

    --- nicole

  16. Thanks so much for this thorough review! I am super excited about the Coral bronzer/blush, in particular. :)

  17. There are 8 polishes. Don't forget 008 Ocean Blue. Wearing it now. Pretty.

  18. I want to cry!!

    I've bee visiting all my local stores since I saw this post and I've yet to see it available anywhere!


  19. This past weekend at the Rite Aid near my house -- they finally got this collection in the store! It's August!!

    I did pick up both bronzers and the Carnival Red as they didn't have the Tripicoral or Melon nail polishes.

    I also picked up both Passion Fruit and Guava lip shines and I'm really loving the Guava.

  20. Good, I thought Carnival Red was a tomato red. That's the color of the top I'll be wearing tomorrow. The color looks pretty at night... can't wait to see it in the sunlight. I think i will get another bottle if I can. LOVE NYC


I love and encourage comments here at Nouveau Cheap, and I do not censor comments unless they violate my comment policy, which you can view here.

Please refrain from comments that contain:
• Links to your own blog or website
• Advertisements or referral links

Thanks very much for your help in keeping this a spam-free zone.

© 2009- Nouveau Cheap. All rights reserved.