Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm still here... and I've got good news!!


Source: Hyperbole and a Half



Hello everyone, guess what... I miss you. <3

I've been extremely busy these last few weeks trying to wrap up my final semester in school and that means I haven't been able to set aside the time to write up super-mega-awesome blog posts. I have at least a month's worth of drafts all saved up but, even though I know we all love looking at polish pictures, a few words in between are nice sometimes. And this blog isn't just about polish (kind of is though, isn't it? *snark*), its also about me and you and our awesomeness all over the internet with our amazingly manicured fingers. No? I think so!

Don't fret, lovelies! I have only a week and a half left and I'm all done, fin. I've got one or two more projects to knock out and a final or two, plus figuring out what to do about my capstone project (fancy code word for undergrad thesis), and I'm all done FOREVER!! Unless I get the urge to look into grad school, but that won't be for a while. So pretty soon I'll be back to a regular schedule and will be able to do my challenge posts again. I even made a light box!

Until then, I've got a few more weeks before I'll be able to post regularly again. So today I'm posting an open call to all my lovely blogger friends and fearless readers... would you like to do a guest post? I'd love to feature you! For my non-blogger readers I'd be happy to feature reader manis too!  

If you're interested send me an email, subject titled Guest Post or Reader Manis, to: jessica@onceuponapolish.com. You could send your drafted posts in HTML format if you use blogger or send me your text & pictures and let me know how you'd like your layout. I'll be sure to link back to you and let you know when I schedule the post to go live so you can post in conjunction or link back. I really miss participating in this wonderful community of ladies and gents so please, send me some goodies to share!

Now, I've got some good news to share.  I've got a JOB!! I recently had a meeting with a company I worked with over the summer during my internship and they've decided to bring me on as a staff member. I start after graduation as a field biologist! I'MSOFREAKINGEXCITED!  I did major happy dances all over the house. Like this:


running around; deliriously excited'
Source: Hyperbole and a Half



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

London Calling - L'Oreal Swatches and Review

Good morning, lovelies! Oh, what an amazing weekend I had. Funny thing is, I don't entirely remember what I did on Sunday. I'm thinking there was definitely homework involved and some grocery shopping and housework, but the rest escapes me. I guess those little "in between" moments weren't all that important then, huh! Yesterday, (Monday) is another story altogether. We were so busy, the day just flew by! I had some girls over to work on a group project in the morning and after lunch I spent the rest of the day helping HB (let's abbreviate hunny bunny from now on, shall we?) construct stuff out of wood. I was so HANDY yesterday! I guess it was just one of those weekends where I finally feel like I've got a grasp on things again and I'm not up to my eyeballs in stuff to do. Maybe now I can work on some nail art.

Today I've got some more swatches for your viewing pleasure, I'm working through my backlog so these are from early to mid October. (Scratch that, I dated my notes and I bought these in September. GASP) I know it was practically ages ago in nail polish land, but these two beauties were released as a part of a LE L'Oreal collection called London Calling. I don't recall a whole lot about the collection though, I'm sorry, other than I purchased these at Target right around the same time I bought SH Gilded Lily. The two colors I picked out were the only two shimmers, Brit Invasion and Notting Hill Blues.


Brit Invasion:

For this swatch I'm wearing two coats w/o topcoat. I actually wore this as a full mani, which goes to show ya that anyone can convert to a lover of items once disliked. Like BROWN polish for instance! Actually, I consider it more of a dark mushroom taupe with a green-bronze shimmer, but ultimately it is a gorgeous brown. Similar to Nite Owl, but lighter. I can't say that the formula on this was all that great though, I had some balding at the cuticle with my first coat but my second coat was better. The brush just didn't hold all that much polish, but I've never been too pleased with L'Oreal's formula. I just can't pass up pretty colors, no polish will power. Looking for a bit of good news? Brit Invasion did dry rather quickly.



Notting Hill Blues:

Are you ready for a stunner? My God, I love a good blue. How about I just put it out there... blue has to be my favorite color. There's just something about a vibrant blue that makes me happy. For this swatch I'm wearing two coats w/o topcoat. Notting Hill Blues, according to the notes I took, is a dusty blue shimmer. What the hell, is that all I wrote down? Sorry, let's try this again! lol NHB may be dusty, but not overwhelmingly so. There's just enough to tone down the blue but its entirely negated by the beautiful aquamarine shimmer that gives this shade light. Its my favorite part. Do you see "dusty" at all or was my mind playing tricks on me?

Formula wise, Notting Hill Blues was better than Brit Invasion but I still had some balding so be sure to have enough polish on your brush before application. I also had some issues with cleanup, my acetone+ moved the color into my cuticles and I couldn't get it out. Very frustrating, but luckily there was no staining as there often is when dealing with vibrant shades of blue.


Does this color remind you of anything?? I keep seeing Zoya Tallulah when I see this shade, they're so similar I can't believe I didn't think to do a comparison! By the way, this is the polish I wore under Marbles on Glass from Sunday's Pahlish post.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone! xoxox

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pahlish - Still Alive: Portal Collection - Swatches & Review

Ahhh, another beautiful Sunday morning! Or, at least I assume its a beautiful morning. :) I'm actually writing this post up Saturday night before I hop into a bubble bath. I haven't had one in forever and since we spent the day working in the back yard, me doing major tree pruning and hunny bunny pouring concrete, I decided it was in order. My muscles need relaxin'! We also fenced in an area of the back yard so we can pen our puppies up when we have company. Needless to say, my arms and legs feel like jello. And even though I'm too tall to properly fit in the tub, I'm goin' for it. I've also poured myself a cocktail so its destined to be a lovely time.

Today I'm going to show you guys swatches I did to test out some indies I binged on all the way back in September. I love indie glitters, and Pahlish is one of my favorite indies all around. Her polishes are always of excellent quality and she does amazing jellies. Check out my mani with Pahlish Toxic and Timeless HERE. When this collection was being advertised, I literally set an alarm so I would be able to get on etsy when these went live. We were camping. #noshame. I ended up purchasing three of the five polishes in the collection including: Marbles on Glass, Little Caroline, and Still Alive.


Marbles on Glass:

"Inspired by the secret area in Test Chamber 3 and the song "Exile Vilify" that can be heard playing on the radio inside. This Pahlish is a blend of hex, bar, square, and round black matte glitter accented by camera-shy iridescent color-shifting glitter in three colors and just a tiny hint of multicolored microshimmer"

I wore one coat of Marbles on Glass over L'Oreal Notting Hill Blues (swatches coming) and like Shannon's description mentions, Marbles on Glass is full of black circle, square, hex, and bar glitters of various sizes in a clear suspension base with small blue iridescent hex and micro iridescent glitters. Amazing right?! And check out these killer circle glitters, I've never seen anything like it! Marbles on Glass has a thick-ish formula but wasn't impossible to handle. It mostly applied without having to manipulate or place glitters on the nail.



Little Caroline:

"Inspired by Caroline, of course! Little Caroline is an ultra squishy neon fuchsia jelly base loaded up with color shifting hex and squares. These squares shift from orange to green (the same color shift as flakie polishes like Nubar 2010 and Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure) and are accented by subtle gold and pink microshimmer.'" 

I wore two coats of  Little Caroline layered over Zoya Toni (see swatches HERE) but one coat is really all you need for layering.  Little Caroline is a bright pink jelly stuffed full of square and hex shaped iridescent glitters, iridescent and holo micro glitter, and what I would call a pink shimmer. Little Caroline has a great formula, it flows nicely onto the nail without having to fish for any glitters and it dries smoothly & without grit! Shannon's swatches of Little Caroline look amazing over black so I'm going to have to try it over a dark color to get those iridescent glitters to really shine!



Still Alive:

"This shade, inspired by the GLaDOS control room, is a saturated teal base packed with iridescent green glitter and gold micro flakies. This shade has a green to blue duochrome shift that is tough to capture on camera!"

Remember THIS Teal Tuesday mani, ya know... the sweets one? No? Well, then I suggest you click on over and check it out becuase I used Pahlish Still Alive in that TT manicure. For this swatch I'm wearing two coats over Essie Stylenomics, but one would suffice for layering. Still Alive is a green jelly with golden-green glass flecks and small hex shaped iridescent glitters. Formula on Still Alive is amazing, just like with Little Caroline, and it also dries smoothly and without grit. I love that about a good glitter, no grit!


I know I described the glittery contents of each polish even though I provided Shannon's descriptions, but I wanted you guys to get the full benefit of my notes! Turns out I was pretty spot on and that makes me proud. Now, I'm off to get in my bubble bath. I hope you guys have an excellent Sunday!  xoxo

PS. Be sure to stop by Shannon's Etsy shop HERE, to check out her current listings. She's always stocked up to the gills whenever I stop by. Also, stop by Pahlish's Facebook page HERE to give her a "like" so you can stay up to date on new releases and collections, and follower her on Twitter HERE.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise & Cu Blue - Swatches and Review

Good morning and happy Saturday! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to actually... finally, have a full weekend. And its a three day weekend to boot! Thank you veterans, from the bottom of my heart (<3). My mother and father were both in the military, and while they weren't active while I was growing up, its always had an impact on me. Anyone going to watch the parades in their towns this weekend?

Today I'm going to show you some Girly Bits polishes I finally got my hands on a while back, two super killer-amazing blues -they're to die for - Arctic Sunrise and Cu Blue. I don't remember how long ago I purchased them exactly but I'm pretty sure I ordered them from Harlow & Co. These are an older set of swatches (from maybe a month ago?), check out my talons!


Arctic Sunrise:

For this swatch I'm wearing three coats of Arctic Sunrise without topcoat, two are fine if you're ok with a little VNL. Usually I am, but I love how deep this blue is (for such a light shade!) and wanted more depth of color. The formula on this vibrant baby blue, semi-opaque jelly chocked full of pink color shifting flecks was excellent, no flooding or balding. It dried shiny too.

At first I thought this color was very similar to Sinful Colors Cinderella, but the more I thought about comparing them - and then the longer I stared at the bottles side by side - I figured it just wasn't warranted. Arctic Sunrise is a brighter and more vibrant blue that's more opaque and has a better formula. They are similar but Cinderella is much softer, a powder blue, and the shimmer in Arctic Sunrise is more pronounced. I've noticed that SC Cinderella is popping up regularly in displays I've come across, but honestly, spend the few extra bucks for this beauty. Its worth it!

It just hit me! Wouldn't this be pretty with some flakies?? Or is that too much? Hmmm, stamping... *mind wanders off without me*



Cu Blue:

OMG, seriously. There is just something I utterly love about blue polishes, and Cu Blue is one of those that excites me! How can you NOT love a cobalt blue jelly with copper micro-glitter?? Or is it a shimmer? Plus, for anyone else out there who gets a little geeked out for science, how can you not also love this name? So clever. :)

For this swatch I am wearing three coats, no topcoat. It covers modestly at two coats but depending on your application, ambient temperature, wind speed... (you get my drift here) it could be a little patchy. I didn't have any problems but wore three just because I like extra coats for jellies. I was honestly surprised when applying Cu Blue, I'd expected it to be lighter for some reason but the final look is pretty dark. You can still see that glassy blue glow however. I also really enjoy the copper microglitter/shimmer, it doesn't take too much away from the color as some glitters do, its just subtle and gorgeous.



Pam's Girly Bits polishes are sold in a few places, including Llarowe and Harlow & Co. I'm seriously lemming Crunchy Leaves... dang no-buy! Also, be sure to check out and "Like" Pam's facebook page and follow her on Twitter!

Now, ladies and gents... I'm off to enjoy my weekend. It finally feels like autumn here in Las Vegas, so I'm going to get real cozy with my couch and some coffee. Oh, and homework... Later gators!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Illamasqua Faithful NOTW aka Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm cooped up in my office today so I can try and pump out an assignment I've had two weeks to work on and only had time to sit down and work on today. Buuuuuummer. Yeah, its due today. I'm a model student, I know. But anyway, I wanted to take my little "break" (before I've even started, no less) to show you a polish I wore the week before Halloween - Illamasqua Faithful.

Faithful has been on my wishlist since Cynthia over at Of Life and Lacquer wore it way back in July. I bought this before I put myself on a no-buy for the holiday season (also a major bummer) when I made a special trip to a Sephora on the strip. None of the "off the strip" Sephoras carry anything other than Illamasqua's core polish line, no makeup - nothing, so I rarely get a chance at new stuff right off the bat. I loathe hotel/casino parking garages. Well, parking garages in general. Ok, all parking. :)


For my NOTW I wore two coats of Faithful, a velvety milk chocolate brown with a strong, finely milled golden shimmer as well as some larger gold flecks. Faithful's formula, like all Illamasquas I've encountered, was amazing. And was almost perfect at one coat! I love this color but I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on it, I don't know if it suits my skintone. I'm just so pink. It looks amazing on Cynthia, though, I'm super jealous.

Now, I'm off to try and be a productive student.

PS. I've named this mani Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Dudes name their cars and boats, why can't we name our manis!?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blue Steel - NOTD and Dupe Alert!

Hello fearless readers! I hope you are doing well, and congratulations or my condolences! Based on how you voted on Tuesday, today might not be as spectacular for some as it is for others. Regardless of how the elections turned out, I'm proud to say that I voted and I hope that you did too! This year saw record turnouts at the polls, especially here in Nevada! I did a lot of canvassing and phone banking this year in the weeks leading up to the elections and I can't tell you how glad I am that its all over! Folks were really getting tired of hearing from me/us/everyone on the campaign trail!

Today I've got a mani that I'd wanted to wear Tuesday night, but just didn't have the time to do before we left for the party. In fact, we were late leaving and heard Ohio was called for the President right before we walked out the door! Talk about anticlimactic! I had an exam first thing Wednesday morning so I wasn't really out to party hard in celebration, but it was a fun evening nonetheless.

Onward!

Today's NOTD, "Blue Steel" as I like to call it, is pretty amazing. Not only is this a NOTD post, I've got a DUPE ALERT! Ok, maybe it isn't that exciting. lol Recently I was casually perusing the polish selection at a neighborhood Walgreens and stumbled upon a fresh Sinful Colors display. I know I'm on a no-buy, but I couldn't help myself. I snatched up five bottles before tearing myself away from the display. The lovely color I'm sharing today is called Winter Wonderland and it is a spot on dupe for Zoya FeiFei. In fact, I'm wearing both at this very moment. Can you tell which is which??


On my middle and pinkie nails I'm wearing three coats of Zoya FeiFei and my pointer and ring fingers, as well as the rest of my manicure is two coats of Sinful Colors Winter Wonderland. Right off the bat you can see that there is a difference in opacity and thickness, I mean... look below at the photos I took after just a single coat!


Here's what I think, the formula on WW is thicker - more viscous -  and also more opaque. They both have a blue tint, but when swatched on the nail and on some scotch tape, Winter Wonderland is slightly more blue. Also, the shimmer/flecks are nearly identical but there just might be a smidge more gold in Winter Wonderland than in FeiFei. Which do I prefer? Honestly, I prefer the Zoya. While two coats is nicer for speedy application, the formula was better on FeiFei even if it is thinner. Plus, I prefer the brush on Zoya since its softer and easier to maneuver around my nails that have a pretty tight c-curve. But, if you're penny pinching and looking for a cheapie version of FeiFie, then look no further.

Toodles!

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