Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Silver & Gold Snowflake Nail Art

Reminder:  I'm a part of two giveaways!  Check out the "Just A Little Something" Giveaway and the Hobby Polish Bloggers Winter Giveaway!

Also:  Welcome, new readers!
_________________________________________

I haven't done nail art in a while (been feeling a bit down), but today I decided to ease back into it with a simple snowflake design.  What made it so simple and easy?  Homemade sticker stencils!

Colors used:  Cult Nails Nevermore, Jesse's Girl Textured Nail Colors in Gift of Gold and Silver Bells

Sparkly!

I am so in love with how this came out!  If traditional red and green Christmas colors are too loud for you, silver and gold is a great alternative.  I also think this is a great mani for New Year's Eve.  I find that the black background helps turn a cute shape design into something classy!

Tutorial:



  1. I used some smiley face stickers and a snowflake punch (Recollections brand, purchased at Michael's) to create the sticker stencils.  You can cut your sticker stencil into two pieces to create two partial snowflake sticker stencils for the edges of your nails
  2. Paint your nails black (I used Cult Nails Nevermore) and add a fast-drying top coat (I used Seche Vite).
  3. Allow nails to dry completely (I think I waited an hour).
  4. Apply a stencil, making sure that it is adhered to the nail.  I recommend applying them in a random pattern, with partial snowflakes at the edges of your nails. 
  5. Fill in your shape using a polish that will be opaque in one coat.  I used the Jesse's Girl Textured Nail Colors in Gift of Gold and Silver Bells.
  6. Immediately after applying the polish, carefully remove the sticker stencil.  If your polish goes "out of bounds", you can try erasing the mistake with a tiny paint brush and acetone, but you will probably need to paint over it.  To paint over it, mix your base color with some polish thinner on a palette and paint over your mistake with a tiny brush.
  7. I chose not to add more top coat because I liked the texture, but if you used regular polish or don't want to feel your textured polish, you can add top coat.

You could also freehand your snowflakes (non-textured polish is probably a better choice if you freehand your design) if you can't make a stencil.  If you can handle making lines and/or dots, you should be able to make snowflakes easily :-) .

All products used were purchased by me

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hobby Polish Bloggers Winter Giveaway

Hey guys!  So in addition to the "Just A Little Something" giveaway, I'm also a part of the Hobby Polish Bloggers Winter Giveaway!

Image credit and credit for all text found below belongs to Krystal from PolishGalore.
Thanks for organizing the giveaway, Krystal!

To enter, please allow the Rafflecopter widget to load below. All Terms and Conditions may also be found in the widget. Please visit the following Hobby Polish Bloggers members who are bringing this to you! You may enter using Rafflecopter from any of the below blogs but your entry will only count one time. You may, however, tweet about the giveaway (the last option) once a day for the duration of the giveaway.


Hobby Polish Bloggers
A far from perfect mom
Be Happy and Buy Polish
FashionFooting
I Feel Polished
Imperfectly Painted
Jen Likes Polish (and some other things)
KellieGonzo.com
Love. Varnish, chocolate and more...
Lucy's Stash
Lustrous Lacquer
MandysSecrets
manicure addict
Pamper with Polish
Polarbelle
polish insomniac
Polish Obsession
Polished and Glittered
PolishGalore
PolishNV
pretty tough nails
Refined & Polished
The Dalai Lama's Nails
The Mercurial Magpie
The Sparkling Hoard
TrailerHood Chic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 13, 2013

"Just A Little Something" Holiday Giveaway!

Hey folks!  A couple of friends and I decided to put together some prize packs for a giveaway, just a little something to spread the holiday cheer!

Prize Pack 1 (The Sparkling Hoard)


The prize:  OPI Skip The Gift Wrap, OPI Last Minute Shopper, Finger Paints Colorful Collage, Indigo Bananas Peppermint Cuticle Balm

Shipping to:  US only

Prize Pack 2 (ALIQUID Lacquer/ALIQUID)



The prize:  ALIQUID Lacquer Quiet Night In and ALIQUID Lacquer vanilla-scented lip balm

Shipping to:  USA and international (except UK)

Prize Pack 3 (Painted Sabotage)


The prize:  Painted Sabotage Ice Flowers, Painted Sabotage Holiday Cheer, and Painted Sabotage Gettin' Eggy With It

Shipping to:  USA and international (anywhere)

Prize Pack 4 (Royal Milk Tea)


The prize:  Finger Paints Sparkle In the Sky, OPI Peace Love & OPI, and Finger Paints Winter Chill 
Shipping to:  USA

The Rules
  • Must be 18 or older.
  • Open to US and international entries.
  • You MUST answer the question regarding your country of residence so that prize packs may be assigned properly
  • Winning entries will be verified.  If your entry is not found to be valid, you will be disqualified.
  • Giveaway will run from now until 12am Eastern on December 24, 2013.  Winners will be notified via e-mail and must respond by December 30, 2013.
Please enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All prizes purchased or made by the parties involved

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dollish Polish: Organic Cuticle Balm

Well guys, it has gotten pretty chilly out there and you know what that means....dry skin and cuticle problems!  Sad times, my friends, sad times.  I absolutely must keep my skin hydrated for medical reasons (dry skin can crack, leaving me vulnerable to infection), so I've become a little obsessed with cuticle balms and oils.

Ingredients:  100% organic beeswax, 100% organic shea butter, 100% organic cocoa butter, coconut oil, apricot oil, hemp seed oil, fragrance essential oils


Dollish Polish Organic Cuticle Balm is a soft balm that melts easily.  I like that it melts easily because that makes it easier to apply, but the downside of this is that you have to be careful about where you store it (I definitely wouldn't put it in your pocket!).  I like to keep this by my bedside, personally.  This balm is sort of on the oily side and feels very deeply nourishing, so I like to put it on before bed so it can sink in and heal my hands all night.  I feel that it has had a very positive effect on my hands, cuticles, and nails!

My only real problem with this balm is the smell.  Unfortunately, the nice, soft cocoa butter that gives this balm the texture I enjoy also gives it a smell that I dislike.  It's a slightly chocolatey smell, and I just don't like most chocolatey smells.  Dollish Polish suggested that I get a balm with a strong fragrance and despite selecting one (Summer Watermelon), I can still smell the cocoa butter.  I think the smell might be better hidden in the Scrumptious Cupcake and Grannie's Banana Nut Bread scents.  I realize that the scent issue is unavoidable and largely my own little quirk, but I figured I should mention it in case any of you have the same quirk!

Dollish Polish Cuticle Balm costs $5.99 for 0.5 oz and comes in twelve scents.  You can purchase is from Dollish Polish's website.  To stay up-to-date with the latest Dollish Polish news, Like the brand's Facebook page!

Product purchased by me

Friday, December 6, 2013

Aliquid Lacquer: Carrot Cake, Make A Wish, Quiet Night In, and Lip Balm

Products received for review

Hey folks!  I've got some interesting stuff from a brand new indie today!  Let's give a warm welcome to Aliquid Lacquer!

Carrot Cake features an orange jelly base filled with green circle glitter, tiny orange glitter, and two sizes of white glitter.  The circle glitters have a tendency to want to stick to each other and stack up like coins (this is a fairly common occurrence with circle glitter), but overall, this polish applied quite nicely.  It's a very unusual color combination, but it actually looks quite nice on the nail.  I think it would be especially appropriate for Easter!  Dry time was average, and two coats are needed for full opacity.


Aliquid describes Make A Wish as "A dreamy blue-grey creme with lots of small red and copper flecks, green/gold flecks, and some blue flecks that wink at you in the light, plus a green-to-red shifting shimmer" (yes, it's so complex that I'm not even going to try to describe it on my own, haha).  The formula on this was lovely and it almost could have been a one-coater.  Dry time was average.

In sun

In shade

Quiet Night In is a dark purple jelly filled with multicolored flecks.  The first coat goes on patchy (not sure if this is due to the formula, or the small brush on the mini bottles), but the second coat evens everything out.  This is a very classy color!  Dry time was average.

It was opaque in person, but the sun was hitting my nails in a way that made it look patchy

I was also sent a tube of Aliquid's lip balm.  This balm is lightly vanilla-scented and unflavored. I've been using it for a few days, and it does seem to work nicely.  I found it to be non-greasy and on the more firm and waxy side of the spectrum (I imagine this means that it's less likely to melt in your pocket than softer balms).  If you're already buying polish from Aliquid, you might as well buy the balm, too.  You can never have too much lip balm during the winter!

Ingredients:  mango butter, beeswax, apricot kernel oil, olive oil, vanilla fragrance


Overall, this was a unique and well-executed first showing for this new indie brand!  To buy, visit the brand's Etsy shop.  Full size (15mL) polishes cost $9, minis (5mL) cost $4, and the lip balm (4 grams) costs $2.  You can use the coupon code PARTYTIME (expires December 8th) to get 10% off your order!  To stay up-to-date with the latest news from Aliquid Lacquer, Like the brand's Facebook page.

Products received for review

Monday, December 2, 2013

Painted Sabotage: Zaphod's Ego

Product received for review

Hi guys!  I hope all my American readers had a good Thanksgiving!  I am, of course, thankful for everyone who visits my blog.  I am also thankful for all the fabulous Black Friday sales!  I don't go out in the crowds, so I love that I can buy discounted indie polishes from the comfort of home.

Today, I have another Painted Sabotage polish for you.  Zaphod's Edo features a dark gold shimmer base filled with purple and gold glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some of the glitter is holographic, so this polish really sparkles!  As is typical for Painted Sabotage's polishes, the formula was amazing and the glitter spread evenly and easily across the nail.  Dry time was average.  2-3 coats are needed to reach full opacity.

In sun

In shade

Blurry to show sparkle

Painted Sabotage polishes cost $9.75 for 15mL and can be purchased on the brand's Etsy page.  To stay up-to-date with the latest Painted Sabotage news, Like the brand's Facebook page.

Product received for review

Monday, November 25, 2013

Painted Sabotage: The Impossible Girl

Product received for review

Whew...hey guys.  Long time, no blog, I know.  Thank you all so much for sticking with me through the silence!  I had some family commitments and wasn't in the best place mentally.  Thankfully, I've been kind of forced to snap out of it and review some samples I received this week!

Painted Sabotage The Impossible Girl features black hex glitter, silver hex glitter, and some fabulous metallic red square glitter in a medium gray crelly base.  I often find that grays make me look a bit corpse-like, but this polish did not have that effect at all!  The formula was great and dry time was fast.  It takes 2-3 coats to reach full opacity.  Shown is two somewhat thick coats with top coat.

In sun

In shade

I highly recommend checking this brand out.  I've never been disappointed, and the formula always stands out in my mind as one of the best among indie brands.

Painted Sabotage polishes cost $9.75 for 15mL and can be purchased on the brand's Etsy page.  To stay up-to-date with the latest Painted Sabotage news, Like the brand's Facebook page.

Product received for review

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dollish Polish: Sugar Plum Fairy

You know how they say that when it rains, it pours?  That's my life right now.  In addition to the sick family member and family stress mentioned in my previous post, I've been dealing with bronchitis, and there has been a death in the extended family.  Since I didn't have any samples that needed to be swatched, I took a break.  I'm going to try to ease back into things with some quickie posts.

Dollish Polish has started doing monthly Limited Edition polishes, and Sugar Plum Fairy is November's LE!  This polish features a pale pink crelly base filled with brightly colored circle, hexagonal, shredded,  and star glitter.  I haven't actually seen any star glitter in my bottle, but I hear that it exists.  If you're extraordinarily girly and love bright and playful polishes, this one should be right up your alley!  Formula was fine and dry time was average.  2-3 coats are needed to reach full opacity.


Sugar Plum Fairy is only available while supplies last, so if you want it, grab it now.  This polish costs $10 for 15mL and can be purchased from the Dollish Polish website.  To stay up-to-date on the latest collections and monthly LEs from Dollish Polish, Like the brand's Facebook page.

Product purchased by me

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Update+Halloween Owl Nail Art

First, don't forget that the huge multi-blogger giveaway is still going on!

Second, I want to apologize for the lack of posts, not doing Halloween nail art, etc.  A close relative has recently received a devastating medical diagnosis and my family is a complete mess over it.  The whole situation is very emotionally and mentally draining and I just haven't been able to concentrate on blogging and art.

In an effort to get my mind off of things, I had some fun this weekend!

I visited Ross Mill Farm & Piggy Camp on Saturday!



Then I went to a street fair to meet the owner of Dollish Polish on Sunday!  I got a hug and bought some great polish!


Then today, I decided to see if I could get out of my funk and get some nail art done.  It didn't go very well, but I think it still turned out pretty cute!  Problems I ran into:
  • I used Elmer's Glue as my base coat, so the polish separated from the nail at the cuticle.  It usually doesn't do that.
  • The moon and one of the owls turned pink after I added top coat.  I have no idea what happened.  I painted over the moon with white polish, but I left the pink owl (middle finger) alone.
  • Top coat messed up the owls' eyes, so I had to paint over them, wait a while, and top coat them again.  As a result, those nails (and also the thumb) ended up super thick.
  • The general shape of each owl wasn't as perfect as I wanted it to be.
That thing I'm holding is a weird spider web lollipop!

Products used:
  • Background-Elevation Polish Jungfrau
  • Moon-painted over original mix with OPI Alpine Snow
  • Clouds-mix of China Glaze Snow and Orly Liquid Vinyl
  • Branches-mix of OPI Warm Me Up and Smitten Polish Cocoa & Cardis
  • Owls-mix of China Glaze Snow and OPI My Vampire Is Buff
  • Owl wings-mix of China Glaze Snow, Orly Liquid Vinyl, and OPI Warm Me Up
  • Owl tummy-mix of China Glaze Snow, OPI My Vampire Is Buff, ad OPI Warm Me Up
  • Owl beak and feet-mix of Zoya Creamy and Zoya Arizona
  • Owl eyes-Zoya Creamy

All products purchased by me

Monday, October 21, 2013

Indigo Bananas: Moonlight (clair de lune) and Enchanté

Hey folks!  I've got a couple of Fall/Halloween polishes from one of my favorite brands for you today! I hope you'll like these new additions to the Indigo Bananas lineup as much as I did!

Moonlight (clair de lune) features real silver flakes and black, purple, and holographic microglitters in a clear base.  The glitter adds a bit of extra sparkle in the sun and the silver flake shines like chrome both indoors and outdoors!  The formula was good, though you'll want to apply this polish gently.  If you press too hard, you won't leave any flakes behind as you swipe the brush across your nail.  Dry time is fast and full opacity is achieved in three coats.

In bright sun.  You can kind of see some colors being thrown off by the holographic glitter in this pic.

In a more shaded area

Enchant√© features a bright red jelly base filled with black glitter and blue glow-in-the dark pigment.  I didn't think I would like this one that much, but the color of the red jelly is so gorgeous that I quickly fell in love!  The formula on this one is great.  The glitter and the glow-in-the dark pigment both seem well-suspended, though I personally like to shake glow-in-the-dark polishes between coats just in case (glow pigments are heavy).  The first layer goes on very sheer, but you will achieve full opacity within three coats.  Dry time is fast.  The purpley-blue glow effect on this isn't the strongest, but it's definitely visible and super cool (be sure to "charge" your nails near a light source in order to get a glow).  Sadly, while the glow was visible in person, my camera could not capture the glow, and Indigo Bananas had some trouble catching it as well (though you can see a glow pic in the Etsy listing).


Indigo Bananas polishes cost $10-$12 for 15mL or $6.25-$7.25 for 8 mL.  You can find the Indigo Bananas Etsy shop HERE and you can "Like" Indigo Bananas on Facebook HERE.  Indigo Bananas also has a website, found HERE.

Products purchased by me

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Colors by Laura K: Green Machine

Hey everyone!  And welcome, new people!  If you haven't entered my US-only giveaway, you need to do so by midnight tonight!  The big multi-blogger giveaway is still going on and ends in a little over a week.  Good luck!

Product received for review

Today, I have a polish from a fairly new indie brand!

Colors by Laura K Green Machine is a slightly muted, grassy green filled with holographic glitter.  The first coat goes on patchy, but everything is opaque and even after the second coat.  The formula was fine, no problems there!  Dry time is fast.  It contains a lot of the tiny holographic glitters, so it dries to a sort of fuzzy, slightly textured finish.  The maker recommends using a top coat, so I topped it off with some Seche Vite.

In sun

In shade

Blurry to show sparkle

Green Machine costs $9.50 for 15 mL or $4 for 5 mL and can be purchased from Colors by Laura K's website.  From now until the end of the month, you can use the coupon code AROUNDTHEWORLD  to receive 20% off your order!  To keep up with the latest news from Colors by Laura K, Like the brand on Facebook.

Product received for review

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Femme Fatale Vortex Remnants

Don't forget, I have my little US-only giveaway, and I'm also a part of a huge multi-blogger giveaway that's open to everyone!

Today, I have a polish that fits the Halloween season quite well, even though it wasn't intended to be a Halloween polish!

Femme Fatale Vortex Remnants is a deep, red-toned purple jelly filled with red and purple diamonds, stars, and hexagons.  Some of the glitters have a holographic finish, so they glow and sparkle beautifully beneath the jelly.  As with most glitter-filled jellies, application was a bit "sticky," but not too terribly difficult.  Dry time was slow.  I used two coats.  I strongly encourage using a glitter-smoothing top coat (such as Gelous or Glitter Food) followed by a thick quick-dry top coat (like Seche Vite).

In shade

In sun

Dark and magical, right?  This polish makes me think of witches...though maybe that's just because I watched AHS: Coven last night!


Keeper of the Grove costs $12.50 for 12mL at Color4Nails.  Femme Fatale polishes are also available directly from Femme Fatale (Australia),  Norway Nails (Norway), Harlow & Co., and Ledouxnuage (France).  To stay up-to-date on upcoming Femme Fatale polishes, Like their Facebook page.

Product purchased by me

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hobby Polish Bloggers Halloween Giveaway!

Image by PolishGalore

Hey guys!  I'm super excited to be participating in my first multi-blogger giveaway with the Hobby Polish Bloggers!  The prize is huge, and it's open to international readers!  Please use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter.  All rules can be found in the Terms and Conditions section found on the widget.  You have until October 31st, 2013 to enter.  Good luck!

Be sure to check out all of the Hobby Polish Bloggers who made this possible!

Carinae L'etoile
Fairly Charming
From Polish, with Love
Geniabeme
I Feel Polished
Imperfectly Painted
Kat Stays Polished
Lit From Within
Love. Varnish, chocolate and more...
Lucy's Stash
Manicure Addict
Manicurity
Pamper with Polish
Peer Pressure Polish
Polarbelle
polish insomniac
Polished and Glittered
Polished Prescription
PolishGalore
PolishNV
pretty tough nails
The Dalai Lama's Nails
The Sparkling Hoard

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Liquid Lacquer: Damn, It's Cold and Just Blue Myself

Hey guys!  Don't forget to enter my Halloween giveaway!

Today, I have a couple more polishes from Liquid Lacquer!

Damn, It's Cold is a clear glitter topper containing a mix of metallic silver, royal blue, and periwinkle blue glitters.  The formula was good and dry time was average.  Shown is one coat over Zoya Kennedy.


Just Blue Myself is a medium blue scattered holo.  I'm not sure why its description calls it a linear holographic, because it's definitely a soft, scattered effect.  Unfortunately, my camera didn't want to show the holo sparkle.  It's more sparkly than it looks here!  The formula was good and dry time was average.  It takes 2-3 coats to achieve full opacity.

In sun

In shade


Liquid Lacquer polishes cost $8-$11 for 15mL, making them a very affordable indie!  The brand often offers coupon codes, so be sure to check their Facebook page before placing an order!


Products purchased in a discounted blogger pack

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Halloween Giveaway!

Hi guys!  As promised, here is the first Halloween giveaway (I'm also going to be part of a multi-blogger giveaway that starts in a few days)! Fun stuff, right?



The prize:  Sephora by OPI Hi Def, OPI Black Spotted, and OPI Funky Dunkey

The Rules
  • Must be 18 or older or have parent's permission
  • Only shipping within the US
  • Must be following The Sparkling Hoard
  • Starts now, ends October 21st at 12am Eastern 
Good luck!

Links to my pages:  Tumblr, Pinterest 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize purchased by me

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Liquid Lacquer: Shots On the Spaceship

Hey guys!  I've been a little busy this week, but I'm hoping to get some more posts done over the next couple of days.  I also have some Halloween giveaway fun coming up soon!

Liquid Lacquer Shots On the Spaceship features a shimmery purpley-blue base filled with metallic and holographic pink and silver glitters.  It's quite sheer (I needed 3 coats), so some may prefer to use this for layering.  The shimmery base is on the frosty side and brush strokes can become visible if you're not careful.  The glitter did not give me any trouble and spread across the nail quite nicely.  Dry time was average.


Liquid Lacquer polishes cost $8-$11 for 15mL, making them a very affordable indie!  The brand often offers coupon codes, so be sure to check their Facebook page before placing an order!

Product purchased in a discounted blogger package

Friday, October 4, 2013

e.l.f. Disney Villains Nail Cube Swatch + Review

Hi guys!  Today, I'll be reviewing the e.l.f. Disney Villains Nail Cube, which is part is a Disney Villains-themed beauty collection at Walgreens drugstores.  There are 12 polishes in this set and most of them are just cremes, so I did skittles-style swatches and I'm going to try to keep the review short and sweet.

General review/info:
  • All of the polishes are opaque in 2-3 coats
  • Many are a bit "sensitive" to top coat.  What I mean by this is that you may end up picking up some color/shimmer from the polish when applying the top coat.  This can result in bald spots in your mani, as well as contamination of your bottle of top coat.  I recommend getting a nice glob of top coat on the brush and "floating" it over the nail.  
  • Some of the brushes are okay, but others are a bit mop-like and have hairs that stick out
  • The bottles and caps are an odd hexagon shape.  Sometimes, the cap and bottle line up perfectly when you close the bottle, but other times, the cap ends up a bit offset.  EDIT-Apparently, the white outer cap pulls off to remove a small black cap, so you can line up the white cap with the bottle!
Maleficent

L-R:  Bubble Gum Pink, Mod Mauve, Gina Girl

Bubble Gum Pink is a dusty medium pink creme.

Mod Mauve is a dark mauve creme.

Gina Girl is a black jelly filled with small red, purple, orange, and green glitters.  This polish is gorgeous and looks like something an indie would make.  This was my favorite!

In sun
L-R:  Bubble Gum Pink, Mod Mauve, Gina Girl

In shade
L-R:  Bubble Gum Pink, Mod Mauve, Gina Girl


Ursula

L-R: Coral Dream, Mint Cream, Sea Escape

Coral Dream is a bright coral creme.  This one did not want to photograph properly!  It's pinker and less orange in person.

Mint Cream is a slightly dusty mint creme.

Sea Escape is a blackened teal shimmer.  The base is so dark that the shimmer is barely visible.

In sun
L-R: Coral Dream, Mint Cream, Sea Escape

In shade
L-R: Coral Dream, Mint Cream, Sea Escape


Evil Queen

L-R:  Pot of Gold, Cranberry, Thunderstorm

Pot of Gold is a pale gold shimmery foil.

Cranberry is a deep red shimmer.

Thunderstorm is a very dark slate gray creme.


In sun
L-R:  Pot of Gold, Cranberry, Thunderstorm


In shade
L-R:  Pot of Gold, Cranberry, Thunderstorm


Cruella DeVil

L-R:  Nude, Smokin Hot, Smoky Brown

Nude is a flesh-toned pinky-beige creme.

Smokin Hot is a bright blue-toned red creme.

Smoky Brown is a dark taupe creme.

In sun
L-R:  Nude, Smokin Hot, Smoky Brown

In shade
L-R:  Nude, Smokin Hot, Smoky Brown


The e.l.f. Disney Villains Nail Cube Gift Set costs $10 for twelve 6mL bottles of nail polish and can be purchased at Walgreens drugstores.

Product purchased by me