Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teal Tuesdays- the Teal Triplets with aEngland Saint George

Good morning ladies, its Teal Tuesday again! This week's theme was a little different, we all voted on the most common teal colored polish between our group's collective stash. After a preliminary round we narrowed it down to the three most common colors, China Glaze Atlantis, aEngland Saint George, and Zoya Zuza. We were then free to do whatever we pleased with our options and if anyone in the group didn't have those colors today was a freestyle! I chose to do a little of both. :)

Since I don't have Atlantis (gasp!) and I didn't think that Zuza and Saint George would mix well together (too many finishes too similar to one another... gag) I thought I would pair up Saint George with another polish from the China Glaze On Safari Collection, Exotic Encounters. I also figured, since I missed out on the half moon week I would do one of those. Whadaya think?

Damn, I love teal. <3 But I'm not too hot on this manicure. My execution was a little off and my hole punch stickers didn't want to stick so some of my half moons aren't very moon-y. I guess I was a little frustrated because in addition to these stickers not sticking, I had some issues with tape sticking too well  when I tried a color block manicure before hand. Turns out, I don't have the patience for tape. Its too sticky, dammit!

Maybe if I'd embellished the half moons a little this would be more exciting, otherwise I'm just "meh" about it. On the bright side, Saint George is stunning and totally drool worthy in addition to being a great one coater.

Be sure to check out the other lovely ladies participating!

Missy/Gnarly Gnails - http://gnarlygnails.blogspot.com
Rhonda Nail Polish Marbury - http://nailsbeautiqued.blogspot.com 
Ariane/The Frenzied Polisher http://thefrenziedpolisher.blogspot.sg 
Kia~LacqueredLibra - http://lacqueredlibra.blogspot.com/ 
Jasmin/Subtletyisoverrated - http://subtletyisoverrated.wordpress.com/ 
Elysse/Elyssian Bauty - http://elyssianbeauty.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 30, 2012

China Glaze On Safari - a vampy, bloody gradient!

Good morning! Today I'm showing you the magic behind the scenes, the gradient under the stamping. Yesterday's Stamping Sunday challenge was red and black and for a while I couldn't think of anything that wasn't just red on black or black on red. I wanted something more interesting and that something finally came to me as an idea for a gradient. Genius!

To date I've swatched China Glaze's On Safari Collection but have worn only a few shades thus far, its still too flippin' hot outside for vampy fall shades! But since I knew from swatching that I loved Adventure Red-y I thought it would make a great red for the challenge. And Prey Tell is kind of, sort of a red. Even if a very plummy/raisiny red, it still worked marvelously.

Check out this orange peel! (that's a fancy pants painter's term for "bumpy" lol) Let's buff that out, shall we? Obviously, I skipped the SV between sponging and stamping. I didn't want a mile-high mani.

Some things that I learned:

  1. Adventure Red-y is a one coater. Fabulous!
  2. Adventure Red-y needed to be scrubbed off my skin and cuticles after sponging. Bogus!
  3. Prey Tell is pretty sheer (compared to Adventure Red-y), it took several rounds with the sponge to build up the gradient color. No bueno for nail art.
As a bonus, if you plan on dressing up as a flesh eating zombie or the like for Halloween might I suggest this manicure? No joke, but after sponging this gradient my fingers looked like they were bleeding/bloody/covered in both wet and dry blood. Very Halloween-y.

PS. Don't forget to enter my Good News, Celebratory Giveaway if you haven't already! It ends in just under two days.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stamping Sunday - Red & Black with China Glaze On Safari

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Today's post is a little late, but I've got my stamping manicure for the Adventures in Stamping group's Stamping Sunday Challenge: Red & Black. I say, better late than never! This is a manicure that I actually did this morning rather than in advance a day or so before hand. And let me tell you, this baby was a bia. Let me count the ways...

I did a gradient with China Glaze Adventure Red-y and Prey Tell from the On Safari Collection (swatches coming soon!) and stamped with Konad Special Black polish using BM-316 from the new plate set. I recently went on a stamping supply binge and purchased several stamping colors and plate sets, so I was happy to play with them this morning.

Let me just say that I am loving the On Safari Collection! At first I was a little hesitant about a few colors but they've really grown on me. Take this red for example. Normally I don't purchase red polishes because I always hear that little voice in my head telling me I already have a color similar to whatever I'm eyeballing. But after trying to find a red creme for my 4th of July manicure I decided I would purchase more reds, and this is one of them.

Adventure Red-y is an insanely pigmented and opaque red creme. I used it as the base of this manicure and used only a single coat! It was incredible and I love it so much more for it. I believe it will make an excellent stamping polish too. But it was after sponging this gradient that I found out exactly how pigmented Adventure Red-y really is. I had to use a nail brush and soap to get acetone/polish remnants off of my skin! Needless to say, this manicure took a while to put together. It was worth it though, I love it and it's my manicure for the week (or until I get bored!). Plus, it's boyfriend approved!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zoya Kimber - a NOTD

Good morning lovelies! I've got another quickie for you today as I've got tons of fun stuff to swatch and play with. I swear, I've got some good stuff coming up. Including some more stamping and trying my hand at nail art. But for today, I want to show you a straggler I picked up from the Zoya Surf Collection. Zoya Kimber was a shade I wasn't initially thrilled with, as if I needed another pink. I don't even wear them that often but I've got an overwhelming number clogging up my helmer drawers. However, when the Earth Day Promo rolled around my mouse had a mind of its own and this magically ended up in my cart. Was this yet another momentary fit of weakness? Yes, it turns out "momentary" has a whole different definition when it comes to me and polish purchasing indiscretions. Oh well, I don't regret it. Kimber is purdy and that makes up for it.

Zoya Describes Kimber as a, "Rich, bright and saturated medium magenta pink with strong gold metallic shimmer and a foil-like finish. A huge hit of color and a shot of shiny gold metal make this polish look electric."

Here's where I disagree: this isn't a foil-like finish, this is a shimmer all the way. Albeit the shimmer particles are quite large, this is no foil. And it's kind of a jelly, too! Of all the polishes in the Surf half of the Beach and Surf Collection, this has a completely different finish. Don't get me wrong, I love it. It's bright and cheery, and it will make an excellent pedicure color. Plus, it makes my fingers look tan!

These photos show Kimber at two coats of polish over a base coat and finished with Seche Vite. At two coats you can still see a little VNL in these photos and real life. No biggie for me since I don't mind it, but for some I know this is a big no-no. Removal was easy but beware of the shimmer particles, they're large enough to possibly get left behind on the skin and cuticle area. Bonus, no staining.

Now, I'm off to dig in to my nail mail goodies! Have a wonderful Saturday. xoxo

Friday, July 27, 2012

Essie - Go Overboard... Feeding my teal addiction!

Hey everyone, just a quick post today since I'm not feeling well. But I wanted to show you my latest teal addiction, a polish I didn't pick up until well after it was released, Essie Go Overboard.

Go Overboard is a beautiful teal cream from the Spring 2012 collection that goes by the same name, Go Overboard. Of all the beautiful pictures I've seen of this polish floating around the internet mine seems to be the darkest. I'm not sure why, but this teal pulls so dark on my nails. It even dries darker than the bottle color. Maybe it is the way I do my lighting but even in person this color is darker than all the photos I've seen of it online. Either way, I love it to death and I've used it for two recent manicures. I used it under Orly Sashay My way in yesterday's post and also in this week's Teal Tuesday post. Clearly, I love it.

For these photos and also for my previous posts, I used two coats of Go Overboard that went on like butter. If you apply thicker coats you could get away with doing only one, but as always I prefer two. I did make a point to keep this out of my cuticules since the color is so saturated. But the good news is that I've never had any staining while wearing this color.

Happy Friday, everyone! xoxo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Orly Jewel FX - Sashay My Way

Look, over here! It's glitter!

Sashay My Way is the second polish I picked up from the Orly Jewel FX collection. At first I passed on it but the mix of hex and bar gold glitter with a holographic flash eventually won me over. I thought it would make a great holiday/NYE mani glitter - very confetti in the air, kisses at midnight, and Auld Lang Syne. Yep, you got it. I bought this polish in July so I could wear it in December. Planning ahead for the win!

I layered one coat of Sashay My Way over two coats of Essie Go Overboard and base coat. What can I say, Go Overboard is an amazing dark teal and I thought it would have a little more character than just layering Spazmatic over black. Application was good but the base is a little thick so while I didn't have to dab this on like so me thick glitters, I did have to move some of the glitters around to get even coverage. Removal was easy with the use of foil.

I'm ready to see the other glitters in this collection, I've only seen promo shots and know there will be 22 or so glitters released in total but I want to see the rest already! Anybody know when others will be released?  xoxo

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How does winning a lifetime's supply of Shellac sound??

Earlier this month I came across this promo and I've seen it posted on several other blogs since then, so I figured I would head on over to Nail Polish Canada to check it out. I've never tried Shellac or any other gel type manicures but my mom does her nails regularly this way and they look great every time I see her. I've always wanted to give this type of manicure a try but the investment seemed so daunting and it seems tough to go without a polish change for so long. 

But what about when you've got a big vacation coming up, or a business function/school presentation and you want to make sure you keep your nails looking perfect and un-chipped? I know that I get super self conscious with chipped or unkempt nails, not what I need when I'm in front of a group of people speaking. Now we've all got a chance to try CND Shellac, for life! One lucky winner will be selected to win all these goodies. 

So ladies (and gents if you're reading), how would a lifetime supply of Shellac change your life?

“To be fair, it’s actually only a 25 year supply, so we can only hope the winner dies early to keep me an honest woman” - Nikki Smith, VP of Glitter, Nail Polish Canada.
CND Shellac is a cross between nail polish and gel which is cured under a UV lamp and lasts up to 14 days without chipping.
Chipped nails are an important issue that affect lives in many ways. “We’ve invented substantial research and the reason women slap or bite in a catfight is fear of chipping their nails. Hopefully, together, we can build a world where a woman can throw a punch at the bitch who kissed her boyfriend without worrying about chips” said Ms. Smith
The prize will go to whomever can show that their life will be most impacted by winning Shellac for life.
Be it better, or worse.
Maybe it stops your polish addiction long enough that you can save money, go to school, become a doctor, go to Africa and start saving lives. Did we say that this contest saves lives? Now we did.
Or maybe you’re just looking for a little understanding, “My husband will finally understand that other people take polish as seriously as me...” - Sarah P.”
Or perhaps the result won’t be as positive, “I’ll probably spend all my time painting my nails, not go to work, get fired, now I’m homeless, damn you NPC.” - Beth C”
If you or a loved one is still stuck in a world of chips, smudges and wasting countless hours re-doing nails we urge you to take a stand.
Grand prize will go to the best description of how winning a lifetime supply of Shellac will change their life. Winner selected August 7, 2012.

Prize Details & Entry
Grand Prize (Value $1266): 33 Bottles of CND Shellac + 36 Watt UV Lamp + 5 Topcoat + 5 Basecoat + Scrub Fresh.
How much Shellac do I need to last 25 years?
1300 (weeks in 25 years) / 2 (weeks application lasts) / 20 (applications per bottle) = 33 bottles of Shellac color
Open to Canadian and United States residents only.
See full rules on entry page.
For further info please contact rachael@nailpolishcanada.com
Trademark Disclaimer: This contest is not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with Creative Nail Design Inc. Product names and other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

China Glaze Magnetix II - My picks: Swatches and Review

Good morning! Today I've got something to show you that I had a lot of fun playing with, the latest addition to the China Glaze Magnetix Collection, Magnetix II. I have three colors from the previous release and I'm happy with them, but Magnetix II is much better in my opinion for the vibrancy of colors. Honestly, these should have been released first!

I bought four out of six colors from this collections: Cold Fusion, Con-fused, Positively In Love, and Sparks Will Fly. I also bought the magnet released with this collection as it features three new designs including a bulls eye, a grid pattern, and straight lines. For this review all swatches are shown with base coat, two coats of polish, and lastly a top coat for shine. Also, for application I applied the first coat and allowed it to dry before adding my second coat, one nail at a time, to pull the design. All photos are shown under both LED and incandescent lighting as.

Cold Fusion:

Cold Fusion is a very bronze-y gold that, in the bottle, looks almost orange. We have a bit of an orange thing in this house, because we're gingers. Well, I'm a redhead. He's a ginger. :) Moving on! This bottle color got approval from the boyfriend because he recently purchased a "similar" shade of burnt orange as an accent color for the new paint job he's giving his Harley. I also like this color and think with the right magnet design and right kind of nail art skills, this could be a Tiger's Eye, no sweat! I used the bulls eye design for Cold Fusion but could not get the design centered on my nails for the life of me. We'll go with user error on that one.


Con-fused is a rich evergreen shade, no teal in sight. This is pure Christmas tree green. Or, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle green. Since that's what these nails remind me of after using the grid magnet pattern! How about I throw a little knowledge at ya!? Those squares/geometric shapes you see all over turtles and tortoises' bodies are actually called scutes. Neat, huh? They grow on top of the bone plates that make up their bodies (shell), are made of keratin just like our hair and nails, and can indicate the age/health of a turtle or tortoise! BOOM, knowledge! As maybe you can tell, I really had fun with these and like the color a lot. It is rich, deep, and fully saturated. This shade had the thinnest formula.

Positively In Love:

Positively In Love is a beautiful magenta shade that just screams velvet to me. Or velour, whichever you prefer. Oh, and lasers! Tell me that using the straight line magnet design didn't turn these nails into laser machines. This combo actually won the top spot for the boyfriend's pick and to be completely honest it is growing on me, and fast too. I was disappointed when I saw the magnet had a straight line design and thought, "how boring." But I was wrong, so wrong. Just look at how crisp these lines turned out. And I love how the empty space becomes this beautiful burgundy jelly. It looks positively squishy! No pun intended, I swear!

Sparks Will Fly:

Sparks Will Fly is a lovely blue with a violet/deep purple shimmer that comes to life when a design is activated by the magnet. As soon as I saw the bottle I knew this was the one I was most happy to own, the purple is plainly visible in the bottle as well as on the nail. The magnet design I used was from the previous collection's magnet and is shaped like a star. Boy, I am the master of obvious statements! On my swatch stick I used the bulls eye pattern and I'm happy to say that it also produced a beautiful pattern bringing out the violet shimmer.

Lastly, bonus outdoor photos! Sparks Will Fly is by far, bar none, my favorite out of this collection. I love the purple shimmer that comes out with the magnet design.

So, how about the magnet? Here it is. Last time it was red, this time it is silver. Initially I wasn't thrilled with these designs other than the bulls eye, but TMNT and lasers changed my mind completely! Each design worked well, the best being the straight lines. The bulls eye also worked great but I couldn't seem to get the design centered at all, plus the magnet tends to perform less than stellar if you have particularly curved nails and the design won't show up around the edges. The grid pattern also gets a thumbs up from me because of turtles, I love them.

Final Verdict? Win! The formula on these were all spectacular and free flowing, and all opaque enough to be used at a single coat. Con-fused was the only one I would suggest using thicker coats if you go the one-coat route. Positively In Love was the most pigmented. Removal was easy and none of the shimmer was left behind to be scrubbed off my skin. Also, as a bonus there was no staining!

What do you guys think? Are you happier with these shades than the previous ones? What about the designs? Or are you just over magnetic polishes altogether? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teal Tuesdays - Monochrome

Hey everyone, it's Teal Tuesday! "What's Teal Tuesday," you ask? Easy! Teal Tuesday is a celebration of the color teal by a handful of bloggers and fellow teal enthusiasts. Missy over at Gnarly Gnails created this awesome group and if you're interested in joining up, head on over to the Facebook group HERE. The group votes every week to decide on a theme and this week's winner was Monochromatic! The simplest way of describing a monocrhomatic manicure is to say it is teal on teal. Or whatever color you choose, really. But here, we're all about teal!

I chose to do a tape manicure using a star shaped hole punch I got at Michael's. I used blue painter's tape and stuck it to a piece of parchment paper while I punched holes in each piece. I got this idea from Sarah at Chalkboard Nails, check out her tutorial HERE!

For my monochromatic manicure I used two coats of Essie Go Overboard for the base, a beautiful deep teal creme that's a perfect one-coater, and China Glaze DV8 for my stars. I placed my hole punched tape on each nail and painted over the stars. Next time I'll sponge because I got some leakage around the edges of my stars and they aren't all as crisp as I'd like them to be. I opted against sponging in the first place because I was worried the holo wouldn't show up all that well. I think I'll also do a more random arrangement of holes next time. I'm just not sure if I like the look of this or no. Hmph. There's something a little circus-y about these to me.

Extra indoor photos for good measure!

Check out the other bloggers participating in Teal Tuesdays down below!

Missy/Gnarly Gnails - http://gnarlygnails.blogspot.com
Rhonda Nail Polish Marbury - http://nailsbeautiqued.blogspot.com
Ariane/The Frenzied Polisher http://thefrenziedpolisher.blogspot.sg
Jess/Once Upon a Polish... - http://gafforama.blogspot.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

This weekend's haul from Sephora & Walgreens!

Good afternoon everyone, I've got a splitting headache that has pretty much put me down for the afternoon but I wanted to show you guys what I bought this weekend. (Cynthia, this is for you!)

I have been wanting some Illamasquas for EVER but for some reason was reluctant to pony up the full price. That flew out the window this weekend! I was disappointed at my Sephora's selection, they only carry the core lines so if I want new collections I have to make my way down to the Las Vegas Strip and venture into the Venetian's Canal Shops. Sad Face. Not about to let my disappointment discourage me, I bought more than I was planning to. Here's what I got: Illamasqua Scarab and Viridian, Nails Inc. Baker Street and Franklins Row, and one lonely Sephora by OPI - 212 Sephora. I can't stand Sephora bottles, btw. They're too phalic... like a vibrator. The polish is pretty though. :)

And, as you all know, Walgreen's is having a Sinful Colors sale where every bottle is only $.99. Not surprisingly I have picked up several. Eight in fact, and I'm sure I'll be back for more since I'm still on the lookout for Lavender. I picked up Fig, Rain Storm, Neptune, Slate, Secret Admirer, Sugar Sugar, Boogie Nights, and Hazard.

This weekend I got a little click-happy and bought all the stamping supplies I need to keep myself busy for a long time. I got several plate sets, an XL plate, some Konad plates, and a handful of stamping polishes. All purchased through Amazon. I stopped at one of those little mall kiosks to ask about stamping supply prices and the lady wanted $15 a bottle for stamping polish... Uhhh, NO. That ain't happenin'. I took my happy ass home and bought my bottles online for $2.50. In your face, lady! lol

Ok, it is clear to me now that my headache has made me mental so it must be time to lay down!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

A copper V-gap with Essie and CND!

Good morning everyone! Today I've got some nail art I tried out when I got my nail art brush, a true v-gap. I thought I'd done a v-gap mani before but it turned out to be just a regular old tape design shaped like a V! I did that one for the Hunger Games polishes I was playing with, I called it "Cat's Claw" and you can check it out HERE. I thought it was damn cool and one of my favorite designs too, even if it wasn't a v-gap like I originally thought.

I created this design with Essie No More Film and CND Copper Chrome. This design took me far longer to figure out than it should have, primarily because I couldn't decide if I wanted to pain the base as Copper Chrome and paint over it with No More Film or visa versa. Turns out I chose to paint the copper over the deep blue. It was fairly easy too, although Copper Chrome wanted to dry quickly on me and gummed up a little in places. You can see the texture of where it got a little thick even with top coat, it isn't that bad in person but the reflected light in the photos really shows the imperfections. I probably could have used a larger brush and avoided some of the issues I had.

All photos are two coats of Essie No More Film from the 2012 Resort Collection over base coat with the addition of CND Copper Chrome nail art. The top two photos are shown with one coat of Seche Vite while photos below have an additional coat of Essie Matte About You. Personally, I thought the matte version of this look was friggin' cool. What do you think?

Also, does this design remind anyone of Boba Fett...

Image source: HERE.

I  know they're different colors, but I'm a nerd so this is what popped into my brain as soon as I matted the design. Do you see it, or am I just a deranged nerd??

PS. My Sephora excursion was successful but only to a degree. I overcompensated by purchasing additional items because the one thing I wanted wasn't there! I'll share my haul soon. :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hairy NOTD underwears! (is this a weird title?)

I am so beyond excited that today is Friday! Technically, yesterday was my Friday, but today is the real deal. You know what this means!? Sephora!! Omg I'm so excited. To all of the other ladies that find themselves at my Sephora today, I'm sorry, but I am going to go to town. I want some Nails Inc. and Illamasqua and I'm determined to spend more money than I want to. I promise to show you guys what I bring home.

Today I'm going to show you my "lettuce" NOTD underwear, Zoya Midori. Midori was a part of the Oo-La-La collection released in the summer of 2009. From the Zoya website, Midori is described as a "Glowing medium apple green with yellow undertones and strong gold shimmer. A cocktail-green for a night out with the girls." Yep, that's it to a T.

I applied two coats of Midori over my regular base coat and these photos have no top coat. The formula is thin in a good way, no goopiness or thickening during application. But then again, I don't think I own any Zoyas with a terrible formula. The second coat is fully needed for opacity. I had no issues with cleanup in the cuticle area. I can't comment on removal because I am still wearing this beauty under my "lettuce." This manicure has been going strong since Sunday night!

What do you think, would this fill your lemming for the new Cult Nails lime green, Deal With It? For me it is only a stop-gap, Deal With It will be mine soon. :) Now, off to get prepared for my afternoon at Sephora!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Hairy NOTD with Piggy Polish and Zoya

Good morning lovelies! As you read this, I'll be at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned. It's an appointment I both look forward to and dread twice a year. See, I used to have severe dental anxiety, never when I was younger but it developed in early adulthood. I had to be medicated to sit for an appointment, it was insane. I would hyperventilate and clutch the armrests for dear life! It made no sense and I have no idea where it came from, especially since I spent years in orthodontics. Luckily I have finally worked my way through this debilitating dental anxiety and don't need any meds to sit for my appointments. I credit it to my awesome hygienist, whom I've been seeing for years, and my dentist. My dentist for life! Lol. He's the only dentist I've ever been to. They've been very patient with me and done everything possible to calm and comfort me. No joke, I used to have a panic attack just trying to call the office for an appointment!

Anyway, I've been seeing swatches of the new Cult Nails Coco's Untamed Collection and the lime green, called Deal With It, is to die for! I don't own any Cult Nails but that's going to change soon. I want that green! And Cruisin' Nude. But, until that day comes I have to search my helmer for a suitable substitute. And since I wanted to put some lime green on my tips, I dug out one of the Zoyas I picked up from the last promo they ran. Earth Day, I think. I chose Zoya Midori and topped it with this crazy Piggy Polish, called Garden Galaxy, I found at Ulta last week. I keep calling it "lettuce" though, for some reason.

Piggy Polish is a brand I'm new to, this is my one and only from the brand. It is the first bottle I found interesting enough to take home. Not that I don't think they have original stuff, I just hadn't had a double take moment until I saw this bottle. Garden Galaxy is a mix of very short bar glitters and microglitters in a very sheer and slightly green tinted base. The glitters themselves are translucent and color shift from chartreuse yellow-green to lime green, to a teal/aqua leaning green. The color shift reminds me of mylar type flakies. Very fun to look at for sure! And hairy!

Garden Galaxy, or "lettuce" as I'm stuck calling it (I can't quit!), applies much better than I expected. The short length of the bar glitters makes controlling the polish during application a lot easier than any other bar glitter I've tried. The best part... This is only one coat! The glitter is so dense and the microglitters fill in what would be the blank spots that coverage at one coat is amazing. I topped this mani off with a coat of Seche Vite and had a little shrinkage at the tips but I count that as my fault since it wasn't dry in the slightest, I don't think Midori was all that dry either. But these kinds of glitter topcoats always give me shrinkage. As far as removal goes, I am still wearing this so I can't comment, but I'll bet it is a pain. I'll be using foil for sure to get this off.

This is one of those manis I've been staring at since Sunday when I put it on, it's just so pretty to look at and dynamic. It sparkles and changes colors and matches Zoya Midori perfectly. Very bright and summery! This was the runner up idea for the last Sunday Stamping challenge, precious stones. I couldn't figure out how to stamp it though but the stone would have been peridot.

Any thoughts on this hairy glitter? Have you seen anything like this before?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

butter LONDON had a FFSale and I finally got mine!

Today I'm feeling a little under the weather. I was up too late waiting for my sister to get to town, and up way too early to take her to the airport. On top of feeling sick and dealing with some stress from work, I'm just feeling worn down. Where am I going with this? Well, I want to go shopping so bad it hurts. I want to run up and down the isles at Sephora and just load up my bag with goodies. But, I don't get paid until Friday so I am doing my best to be a responsible adult and postpone my retail therapy for a few days. Oh, it is going to happen. Just not today.

During another retail therapy session that coincided with butterLONDON's Friends and Family Sale, I splurged on myself. Big surprise! I picked up the Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, the Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat, and these three beauties: Branwen's Feather, Lillibet's Jubilee, and Fairy Lights. I can never find these in my Ulta so I snagged them online for 20% off and free shipping!

My box arrived quickly and I was overjoyed, only to be crushed by the solitary bottle of Nail Foundation basecoat I found wrapped in the packing. Where was the rest of my order!? I emailed BL through the website contact form and after a day or two without a reply I tweeted my dilemma and promptly received a reply with a direct email address for resolution. Another email was sent and the next day I had responses to both emails I had sent promising that my order would be corrected and my polishes would reach me soon. I got a shipping confirmation that afternoon and before I knew it, these pretties were on my doorstep. Does anyone else think it is odd that you don't get a shipping notification when you place an order through the website? I guess I thought it was "normal" for them but then got a notification when my order was being corrected.

Swatches of each polish is two coats over the BL basecoat and a coat of the Hardwear P.D. topcoat. These photos are under LED and incandescent lighting.

Branwen's Feather:

In the butter LONDON dictionary I found that Branwen is a "female raven belonging to the Queen of England," and she lives in the Tower of London! Pretty neat if you ask me. The color itself is described as a "purple-ish black lacquer with loads of depth and shine. Like a silky raven's feather at midnight by the Tower of London."

Application surprised me with this one. BL's have great formulas but frequently I find they are either spot on perfect or quite thin. This one is on the thin side. The first coat is completely sheer and patchy, looking like a sheer black with little purple shimmer. But amazingly the second coat fills everything in and has incredible depth. The deep eggplant purple shimmer lights it up from within. Removal was easy, no issues. This is too dark for me to wear right now, but I can't wait for fall so I can sport this baby!

Lillibet's Jubilee:

Lillibet's Jubilee isn't in the BL dictionary but I'm not surprised because this was a commemorative shade released to honor the 60th anniversary of the Queen of England's accession to the throne. The description of this shade is that of a "silvery, lavender metallic foil that boasts the perfect amount of sparkle that is fit for a queen!"

Lillibet's Jubilee applied flawlessly, it practically flowed from brush to nail like butter. Being that it is packed with so much foil I was expecting maybe a little patchiness or cuticle drag, but nope. Perfection! You could if you chose to, get away with a single coat. The foil is that dense. I always sport a second coat for depth of color and for the added strength it lends my nail. Removal was a nightmare, foil shimmery bits were everywhere!! This required a good scrubbing with a nail brush to get all the little bits out from my cuticles and off my skin. As you can see, this polish is insanely reflective and sparkly. I tried and tried to get my photos to appear as lavender as they are in person, but the silver won the battle.

Fairy Lights:

Fairy lights was introduced this past holiday season as part of a Holiday Collection Trio that included in addition to this polish, The Black Night, and Tart With A Heart. I wasn't really interested in any of the polishes that came in the sets at the time, or maybe it was more about pricing. I've become a bit more relaxed on that lately it seems. Anyway, this time around after being wooed by Essie's Mirrored Metallic chromes, I had to have it. Fairy lights is 100% a chrome polish and I'm sure it will be superb for stamping as I've seen photos across the interwebs doing so. This lacquer is described thusly on the BL website, "Be a beacon to bad boys and the life of the party in this dazzling 'liquid metal' rose-pink lacquer."

Application of this chrome was far easier that the Essies I've been playing with recently, no dragging issues whatsoever. However, Fairy Lights has a few more brush strokes than the Mirrored Metallics, they simply don't go away as it dries. Very pretty and delicate, I'll be using this next February for sure. :) Removal was easy, nothing difficult left behind. And please, pardon the glare from the bottle down below. It is just that reflective! lol

One last thing to note, I loved the basecoat. It dries semi-matte and is flesh colored. While I wouldn't necessarily wear it on its own for fun, if I were in a hurry and without time to apply color I wouldn't be ashamed to be seen in it. Overall, I liked it. And it worked well with the polishes I swatched. It shall be interesting to see how the wear of these polishes is with the brand's corresponding base and top coats. As for the Quick Dry top coat, it was ok but not fast enough for my liking. It was actually quite tacky to the touch for much longer than any of my other quick dry's. I will be using it for my BL manis from here on out but I still prefer my Seche Vite for the speeeeeed!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's have a GIVEAWAY, shall we?

Ladies, as a thank you for all of your support and for reading and commenting on my little corner of the interwebs I decided to host a giveaway! My recent medical issues and the outpouring of support from the blogging community helped me to realize that nail polish is really a cherished hobby of mine and I am thankful to have made connections with my fellow bloggers and readers. Having finally put more effort in to posting and getting involved with my own subscriptions and in social media has made this experience so much more fun!

So to thank everyone who wished me well, I'm having a Good News Giveaway! Up for grabs, for two lucky winners is a brand new bottle of Max Factor Fantasy Fire (prize one) and a bottle of the new Essie Luxeffects, Stroke of Brilliance (prize two). This tiny bottle of FF was my backup but I decided it would be more fun to share and spread the love. As for Stroke of Brilliance, well, I was on the hunt for this beauty for days and days. I must have stopped at 8+ drugstores looking for a bottle of my very own and then out of nowhere I found two different places, across the street from one another no less, with bottles stocked. When I snatched up my precious bottle, I grabbed one for you guys too! Unfortunately, my elephant tea pot isn't a prize, I just thought he was cute. :)

You can see my swatch of Fantasy Fire HERE and my swatches of Stroke of Brilliance HERE. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mine, all MINE! Essie Luxeffects Stroke Of Brilliance

Hey everyone, its Tuesday! (say hello to capt. obvious over here...) Remember when I was whining about not being able to find a bottle of Stroke of Brilliance?? I did, I whined all over Twitter, my comments, and a blog post or two... Well it doesn't matter anymore, because this past weekend I found a bottle!! Finally, after 8+ Walgreens and CVS's, I found the bottles tucked away on a low lying shelf just sitting there with the other seasonal Essies. No special display, nothing.

Upon bringing my new pretty home, I immediately set to swatching. And that's what I've got for you today, swatches of Stroke of Brilliance over shades of blue. Stroke of Brilliance is a cornflower blue mix of tiny glitters as well as different sized hexes, practically identical to Set in Stones (swatches HERE and HERE) and A Cut Above (I've worn it but I guess never posted? I'll have to remedy that soon). Each photo shows one coat of Stroke of Brilliance over two coats of a blue polish underwear + basecoat, no topcoat and taken under LED and incandescent lighting.

Worn over Essie Bikini So Teeny: 

Worn over Essie Smooth Sailing:

Worn over China Glaze Man Hunt:

Application was good, the glitter spread fairly even on the nail without having to manipulate it and I didn't have to dig in the bottle to get glitter on the brush. Removal... its a glitter, use foil! lol So, have you guys seen this yet in stores?


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