Saturday, March 30, 2013

Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit: Showboat and Woodstock

Today we have two polishes that that are almost painfully neon.  I had the hardest time getting my camera to photograph them properly!  In some cases, it may look like the polishes are duochromes, but they're just neon cremes.  To be honest, my camera freaked out so badly that my photos are damn near useless...but they're kind of hilarious, so at least they've got that going for them.

Woodstock and Showboat are from Urban Decay's Showboat Nail Kit.  The Showboat Nail Kit features 5 brights and one black polish.  Each polish is essentially a mini, coming in at just 5mL.  I quite liked the brush, which spread out nice and wide!

Woodstock is a true, bright, neon pink.  I had some trouble photographing it due to how neon it is.  It's pretty sheer and takes 3-4 coats to reach full opacity.  It also wasn't very self-leveling, so I was rather disappointed in the formula.  Dry time was fast and it dried to a sort of semi-matte finish.  I used 4 coats and topped it off with Out the Door top coat.

In shade

In the sun

Next up is Urban Decay Showboat, which was even harder to get an accurate photo of.  Showboat is incredibly neon and my camera just couldn't handle it.  As far as my camera could tell, my fingers were on fire.  All I can do is describe it in words.  It's just an insanely bright neon orange.  It appears to be a true orange that doesn't lean red or yellow.   It's sheer and takes 3-4 coats to reach full opacity, so you may want to try layering it over white.  Showboat was less streaky and was better at leveling itself than Woodstock was.  Like Woodstock, dry time was fast and it dried to an almost semi-matte finish.  I used 4 coats and topped it off with Out the Door top coat.

It's just one color in real life.  My camera seemed to think I was on fire >.<

MY NAILS ARE MADE OF LAVA!  Again, my camera freaked out.

My attempt at adjusting the color.  It's still brighter and lighter than this.

I'm hoping to have the other 4 shades in the kit swatched soon.  Easter is kind of interrupting things.

The Showboat Nail kit normally sells for $28, but Urban Decay has marked the price down to $12.  The $12 price tag makes much more sense, considering how small the polishes are!  You can buy the Showboat Nail Kit HERE and you can stay up-to-date on Urban Decay news by Liking them on Facebook HERE.

Product purchased by me.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Awareness Mani: Make Mine Chocolate!


As I'm sure you've figured out from my challenge to indie polish makers, I'm passionate about raising awareness for the plight of abandoned Easter bunnies.  The folks involved in the Make Mine Chocolate! campaign are pretty passionate about it, too.  Make Mine Chocolate! is an educational program that was started by the Columbus House Rabbit Society in 2002.  Its goal was to encourage people to buy chocolate or plush toy bunnies instead of live rabbits for their children at Easter time.  The message of the Make Mine Chocolate! campaign has since spread all over the world, and I encourage you to spread their message as well.  You can find some great info graphics to post on your Facebook profiles on the Make Mine Chocolate! Facebook page.

I decided that this year, I would not only post the Make Mine Chocolate! message on my Facebook pages, but I'd paint it on my nails as well!

For this manicure, I painted my three middle nails with two coats of Zoya Ziv (beautiful gold foil, though there were some small chunks of pigment in it).  The rest of my nails each got one coat of China Glaze Mahogany Magic (bit thick, but otherwise perfect) followed by 2 coats of Smitten Polish Chocolate Bunny Soup (pink, gold, and blue circle glitters and gold shimmer in a brown crelly base, excellent formula).  The letters and chocolate bunnies were painted using China Glaze Mahogany Magic and a tiny brush.  The bunnies' bows were done using China Glaze Make an Entrance.  Their eyes feature China Glaze Snow and Zoya Robyn and were painted using two small dotting tools.

Don't mind the weird way my index nail grows!

My first attempt at letters!

Cute way to spread awareness, right?  Never ever be afraid to spread awareness!  If you hear that someone is considering purchasing a live rabbit for their child at Easter, educate them on why it's a bad idea.  Post educational fliers on bulletin boards at your church, school, or local stores.  You can also ask managers of pet shops to at least post fliers on the rabbit displays if they refuse to stop selling rabbits.

 I was pleasantly surprised to find educational fliers attached to the rabbit tank at a local pet shop!  Don't mind the fact that there was a guinea pig in the tank at the time >.<

 If you want to do more to help homeless rabbits, please consider donating money to the House Rabbit Society, the HRS Emergency Grant Program, or your local non-HRS rabbit rescue


Polish info:

You can find China Glaze ($5-$8 for 14mL) at stores like Ulta and Sally Beauty.  You can follow China Glaze on Facebook HERE.

You can find Zoya ($8 for 15mL) on Zoya's website.  You can follow Zoya on Facebook HERE.

You can find Smitten Polish ($9 for 15mL) on Etsy and Llarowe.  You can follow Smitten Polish on Facebook HERE.

All products purchased by me.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Hands: Egg Hunt

I originally had a different post planned for today, but since Easter is coming up sooner than I thought it was, I figured I should start busting out the Easter polish!  Today we have a limited edition Easter polish from Happy Hands.

Happy Hands Egg Hunt beautifully captures the look of colored eggs in grass.  It's a glitter topper consisting of short, metallic, emerald green bar glitter, tiny metallic green hex glitter,  and metallic, multicolored circle glitter.  Like most glitter toppers, it dried quickly.  Unlike most glitter toppers, it had a surprisingly smooth finish, even before I applied top coat!  The consistency is on the thinner side, so you may find that the glitter tend to get pulled down to the bottom of the nail.  This is pretty easily remedied by using a lighter touch when painting.  It's not terribly dense, so you can build it up to whatever density you'd like.  Here, I've done one coat of Egg Hunt over 2 coats of a beautiful glass fleck from China Glaze called Running In Circles.

Those glitters toward the bottom are not red, they're just reflecting the color from my red sweater...whoops, lol

In harsh light from the setting sun.  Again, the seemingly red glitter is just pastel glitter reflecting the color of my sweater.  They're not actually red.

Close-up!

In case you're having trouble seeing the green glitter, here it is on a wheel

Cute, right?  I'm very happy with Egg Hunt, and I strongly suggest you check it out!

Egg Hunt costs $10 for 15mL.  It's a limited edition, so snatch it up before it disappears!  If you place your order today, Kristi will try her best to get it to you before Easter.  Happy Hands polishes can be purchased on Etsy HERE and on the Happy Hands website HERE.  You can stay up-to-date with all the latest Happy Hands news by Liking them on Facebook HERE.

Product purchased by me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Indigo Bananas: Shadow

Today we have yet another amazing polish from Indigo Bananas!  It was cloudy and rainy yesterday, but as you'll soon see, this strong duochrome had no trouble showing off for the camera!

Shadow is a duochrome glass fleck.  It shifts from a rich, deep blue to a pinky-purple color (sometimes even a sort of golden pink at some angles).  This isn't a shy shift, either.  It's easily visible in various forms of lighting.  Formula was great, no pooling, no clumping, etc.  Dry time was a little on the slow side.  I used 3 coats, though you might be able to get away with two coats if you have shorter nails or tend to do thick coats.  Indigo Bananas says one coat can be sheer enough for layering, but I haven't tried that yet.

Side Note: You can also custom-order the duochrome glass fleck in a clear base if you want the shift but don't want the dark base color!


Indigo Bananas Shadow

Up close!  You can see a hint of the golden pink here

Shadow's blue shift...don't mind the raindrop lol

Shadow's purple shift

Side view

Looking all moody and mysterious

Amazing, right?!  I'm so glad I bought this!

Shadow costs $10 for 15mL or $4.50 for 5mL.  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.

Product purchased by me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Various Updates-FTC Disclosure Guidelines and Google Reader

I'm sure you've all heard this info by now, but just in case you haven't:

1) FTC disclosure guidelines have changed

If I receive a product for review, I now have to make a disclosure at the beginning, middle, and end of the blog post.  Bloggers can no longer just put a disclosure at the end of a post.  Yes, this is completely over-the-top and ridiculous.  No, I do not want to do it.  Yes, I will be complying.

2)  Google Reader will cease to exist in July 

If you want a reading list similar to the one provided to you by Google Reader, you should switch over to Bloglovin.  Bloglovin makes it super easy to transfer your Google Reader reading list to their site, so it's not a terribly huge hassle.

You can also follow me on Facebook.

I also still have my Tumblr blog.

I have a Twitter and a Pinterest, but I haven't really gotten started on those yet!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Memories, Nail Art, and Swatch+Review of Pretty Serious Liquid Leprechaun

I know this is kind of last-minute, but happy St. Patrick's Day!  Today is the one year anniversary of my engagement (and therefore my one-year anniversary of being into nail polish!).  I actually knew where and when I'd be getting engaged (but not how), so I prepared by picking up a bottle of Sephora by OPI I Found A Pot of Gold! and making sure my nails would be painted for the big day.  Check out my nubbins!

I left out the holo diamonds in SOPI I Found A Pot of Gold! on purpose.  Don't mind my poor, lymphedema-damaged hands :-/

And now, one year later:


No more nubbins!  I'm so proud of myself for kicking the nail biting/peeling habit.  I also have much more interesting manicures these days!  Here are some up-close shots...don't mind the dry skin and the Seche Vite shrinkage >.<



In bright sun


Products used on nail art:

  • Sky-Butter London Sprog
  • Grass-China Glaze Running in Circles over China Glaze Holly-Day
  • Pot-Cult Nails Nevermore
  • Gold-Ninja Polish The Midas Touch over Zoya Ziv
  • Red-China Glaze Poinsettia
  • Orange-Zoya Arizona
  • Yellow-Zoya Creamy
  • Green-China Glaze Holly-Day
  • Blue-Zoya Robyn
  • Purple-Mix of Zoya Robyn, China Glaze Poinsettia, and China Glaze Snow
How I did it:

  • Covered the nail with 2 coats of Butter London Sprog
  • Painted rainbow stripes with a medium striper
  • Painted grass using the brush from each bottle
  • Applied Seche Vite
  • Came back the next day and painted the pot with a fine-tipped brush (it's basically a horizontal oval with a line on top)
  • Painted gold with a fine tipped brush
  • Added gold flakes using a fine-tipped brush
  • Applied Seche Vite

The rest of my nails just have the lovely Pretty Serious Liquid Leprechaun on them.  Liquid Leprechaun features metallic and holographic gold hex glitter, holographic microglitter, and metallic emerald microglitter in a green jelly base.  The formula was a little bit fussy because all the glitter makes it somewhat thick.  I occasionally experienced pulling and uneven glitter distribution on the first coat.  Thankfully, all subsequent coats will cover up any issues you may have with the first coat Dry time was average.  I used 2 coats to reach full opacity.

Super up-close shot of Liquid Leprechaun.  You can see the depth and a glint of the gold holo sparkle!

I adored this manicure!  St. Patrick's Day is so much more fun now that I can associate it with such beautiful memories :-)

Pretty Serious nail polish costs $12 for 11mL on Llarowe.  You can also find it on the Pretty Serious website and other online retailers.  You can stay up-to-date on Pretty Serious news by Liking them on Facebook.

Butter London nail polish costs $15 for 11mL and can be purchased on Butter London's website and stores like Ulta.  You can stay up-to-date on Butter London news by Liking them on Facebook.

Cult Nails polish costs $12 for 15mL and can be purchased on their website.  You can stay up-to-date on Cult Nails news by Liking them on Facebook.

Ninja Polish's gold flake polishes cost $15 for 15mL.  You can purchase Ninja Polish products on their website.  You can stay up-to-date on Ninja Polish news by Liking them on Facebook.

China Glaze nail polish usually costs around $5-$8 for 14mL and can be found at stores such as Ulta and Sally Beauty Supply.  You can stay up-to-date on China Glaze news by Liking them on Facebook.

Zoya nail polish usually costs $8 for 15mL and can be found on Zoya's website and in stores like Ulta.You can stay up-to-date on Zoya news by Liking them on Facebook.

Sephora by OPI nail polish costs $9.50 for 15mL and can be purchased at Sephora.  You can stay up-to-date on Sephora news by Liking them on Facebook.

Products purchased by me.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lynnderella: Do You See What I See?

First off, I am not a fan of Lynnderella.  I think she's a little crazy, a little shady, and way overpriced.  I also think it's wrong to auction off your own polishes for profit (especially when the polish in question was originally made to benefit a charity, as is the case with her LE The Bunny Code).  That being said, I do think that SOME of her creations look interesting/pretty, and I had always wondered what they were like as far as quality goes.  Thankfully, I did not have to hand over any of my own money to find out.  I received Do You See What I See? in a secret santa exchange on my favorite forum.

Do You See What I See? was from Lynnderella's Season's Gitterings collection.  It consists of metallic emerald green hex glitter in various sizes, metallic green square glitter, tiny black square glitter, yellow-green hex glitters in a couple of sizes, and large, yellow-green, holographic hex glitter in clear base.  The consistency was a little on the thin side, so getting the largest glitters to get on the brush and stay on the brush was a little tricky.  The glitters went on smoothly and evenly, no dabbing or placement required.  Dry time was fast.  I used one coat of Do You See What I See? over 2 coats of Enchanted Polish January 2013.

By the window

In the sun

In shade

I thought this made a really nice combo for St. Patrick's Day!  I feel like we see a lot of gold glitter over green polish, so green over gold looks kind of cool and different!

Do You See What I See? costs $23 for 15mL.  Lynnderella polishes can be purchased on Ebay.

Product was a gift from a fellow forum member


Enchanted Polish: January 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!  I don't know about you, but I'm definitely going to be rocking greens and golds for the next few days.  Today, we have an awesome gold!

January 2013 is a gold linear holo polish.  It leans more towards a rose gold than a true yellow gold, so fair-skinned ladies may find this shade a lot easier to pull off than most shades of gold.  The finish is almost chrome, super smooth and shiny.  The holographic effect can be a bit shy (I had trouble getting good photos of it), but when you find the right lighting, it comes out in full force and is absolutely stunning.  Formula was great, no balding or pulling.  Dry time was average.  I used 2 coats to reach full opacity.
By a window

In the sun

Holo effect under LED light

I thought the holo particles looked pretty here

January 2013 was a limited edition and is no longer available.  Enchanted Polish's monthly LEs cost $13 for 15mL and are released on their BigCartel store HERE (they go fast!).  Most of Enchanted Polish's regular shades can be found on Llarowe, MeiMei's Signatures, Harlow & Co., and Pshiiit Boutique.  I strongly suggest signing up for Enchanted Polish's newsletter (you can find the signup at the bottom of this page).  You can also find info on their Facebook page.

Product purchased by me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painted Sabotage: Greenie In A Bottle!

Super excited to share this post because my fiance named this polish and won a bottle of it for me! Chrissy from Painted Sabotage held a contest to name her new St. Patrick's Day color and since my fiance loves terrible puns almost as much as he loves me, he submitted the name "Greenie In A Bottle."  People then voted on the names and he won!

Greenie In A Bottle is a rich, medium green jelly filled with various sizes and shapes of gold glitter, gold holo squares and hexes, metallic orange shard glitter, and small, metallic green glitters.  If you were to puree a leprechaun, this is what it would look like!  Formula was great, as always.  Dry time was a little on the slow side, but that's to be expected with jellies.  I was perfectly happy with just 2 coats, but if you tend to do very thin coats or have very visible nail lines, you may need 3.

The super cute tag that was tied to my bottle!

Inside, by the window

In the sun

In shadow

Love it when the light hits a big holo glitter!  Pow!

I know some of you are looking at these pictures and thinking the green and orange combo just isn't your thing, but it's really a beautiful polish in person.  It's also pretty unique as far as St. Patrick's Day polishes go, so I think it's a great addition to any polish addict's stash!

Greenie In A Bottle costs $9.75 for 15mL.  You can buy Painted Sabotage products HERE and stay up-to-date on Painted Sabotage news on their Facebook page HERE.

My fiance won this polish for me

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indigo Bananas: Impact

UPDATE:  This bottle of Impact is being sent back to Andrea for inspection.  She is truly dedicated to her polish and she wants to try to figure out what went wrong here.  I urge you all to take this review only as a guide on color and glitter, not on texture.

Today, we have yet another polish from my friend Andrea's amazing new brand, Indigo Bananas!  Impact has kind of flown under the radar a bit, and it deserves far more attention than it has gotten!

A bit of a warning before we proceed with the review:  As you might be able to tell, my bottle of Impact was a bit on the clumpy side.  If you buy Impact from this point onward, you should not experience clumping (the texture should be more like the texture seen in my post on Indigo Bananas Rez).  My bottle was from an earlier batch and as soon as I informed Andrea of the issue, she fixed all bottles she had in stock and made note of the need to be extra careful with future batches.  This polish is chock full of incredible glitters and multichrome pigments, so its production is a bit of a delicate balancing act.

Clumping aside, it still applied easily (just not in the most aesthetically pleasing manner lol).  Dry time was slow, so a nice, thick fast-drying topcoat is a must.  I used 3 coats, but those of you with shorter nails could probably get away with just 2 coats.  I have heard that you can layer one coat over another color to get a different look, but I have not tried that yet.  On its own, Impact is a very unique polish.  The base color is a multichrome shimmer which shifts from peachy-orange, to golden yellow, to yellow-green. It's also filled with a dizzying array of yellow and orange holo, metallic, and matte glitters.  I find that it reminds me of autumn leaves!


 Color shift!


Look at those holo glitters!

I might try adding a bunch of thinner and swatching this again someday.  It's a very unique and unusual polish and I am confident that you will be pleased with its quality if you decide to buy it!

Impact costs $10 for 15mL or $4.50 for 5mL.  You can buy Indigo Bananas polishes HERE and you can stay up-to-date on Indigo Bananas news on their Facebook page HERE.  Indigo Bananas is currently running a Rafflecopter giveaway (ends in 2 days, so hurry!and they will soon be announcing another, more creative giveaway, so be sure to look out for that!  

Product given to me for review



Monday, March 11, 2013

Painted Sabotage: Hate Tank

Tonight, we have the lovely Hate Tank by Painted Sabotage!  I know the maker, Chrissy, from a forum we both post on and she is a total sweetheart!  Every polish is made with love and every order is packed in pretty tissue paper accented by cute stamps and stickers.  She also ties a cute little handmade tag to at least one polish in your order (at least, that has been the case every time I have ordered from her lol).

Hate Tank is a deep, berry-red jelly filled with black hearts, black shreds, burgundy glitter, and red holo glitter.  The interesting thing with Hate Tank is that you never really know when you're going to get a heart because you can't see them in the bottle and you can't see them against the black bristles of the brush.  You're probably thinking "but how will I fish them out if I can't see them?!"  That's another cool thing about Hate Tank, you never have to fish for hearts!  Application was fairly easy, though you may occasionally end up with more hearts than you would like and they may clump a bit.  Dry time was average/longish, as is usually the case with jellies.  I used two coats, but I didn't apply it in the best lighting, so some nails are lighter and some are darker lol.  If you want it to look dark and edgy and vampy, use more coats.  If you want to be able to see the hearts more easily, use one coat (maybe over a white or nude if you're worried about VNL) or do thin coats.



Sparkle!

In the shade

Close-up!  Don't mind that stray fuzz I just noticed!

Pretty, right?  Oh, and in case you were wondering where the name "Hate Tank" came from, Chrissy's husband (who named it) says it's meant to be the opposite of a Love Boat, haha.  This is a polish for the  people who aren't into cutesy pinks and purples during the Valentine's Day season (though it's great at any time of the year!).

A 15mL bottle of Hate Tank costs $9.75.  You can buy Painted Sabotage's amazing polishes on Etsy HERE.  You can stay up-to-date on new colors on the Painted Sabotage Facebook page HERE.  Painted Sabotage also has a Tumblr you can follow HERE.

Product purchased by me

Friday, March 8, 2013

Double the Rarity, Double the Fun? OPI, MLP, and Candy Lacquer

For this mani, I decided to use 3 polishes my fiance gave me for my birthday:  OPI Alpine Snow, My Little Pony Rarity, and Candy Lacquer Rarity (to make my life easier and avoid confusion, I'll refer to them as MLP Rarity and CL Rarity).

If you don't know who or what Rarity is, she's one of the characters on "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic."  I grew up playing with My Little Pony toys and watching an earlier generation of the MLP TV show, so I've been thoroughly enjoying this resurgence of adorable pony stuff.  This is what she looks like:

picture from mlp.wikia.com

Rarity is Ponyville's resident seamstress and fashion designer.  She loves the finer things in life and I'm sure she would totally freak out over all the polishes named after her if she were, you know, real.

OPI Alpine Snow is a white creme.  Formula was okay, about as fussy and streaky as any other high-end white polish.  Dry time was average, and it wasn't thick or gummy like some whites tend to be.  I used 2 coats

My Little Pony Rarity is a shimmer topper.  It features tiny blue, pink, and purple shimmers in a sort of creamy, whitish, yet also somewhat clear base (like a barely there white, frosty pearl sort of thing, which mostly alters dark colors).  It was easy to work with, though it dries slowly and is damn near impossible to photograph on the nail (got a decent bottle shot, though!).  It looks like it's designed to serve as a topper to Rainbow Dash (a bright blue creme), Pinkie Pie (a bright pink creme), and Twilight Sparkle (a pinky-purple creme).  It does not look like polishes were made for Fluttershy or Apple Jack (2 of the other main characters).  It's a very pretty shimmer!

Candy Lacquer Rarity is a very literal interpretation of Rarity...like if you were to puree Rarity (how horrifying lol), this is what you would get.  CL Rarity is made of multiple sizes of white and purple hex glitter, purple squares, and icy blue diamond glitter.  It's packed with glitter, so it can be a bit thick and the glitters do clump up a bit (not too annoying, though, and thinner may improve it).  Dry time was average.  I used 1 coat.


Such pretty shimmer in MLP Rarity!

1 coat CL Rarity over 1 coat MLP Rarity over one coat OPI Alpine Snow

In brighter sun

OPI Alpine Snow costs $9 for 15mL and can be found at Ulta.   You can stay up-to-date on OPI news on their Facebook page.

My Little Pony Rarity normally costs $7 for 0.61 fl oz, but it's currently on sale for $3.50!  You can find it at Hot Topic.  

Candy Lacquer Rarity costs $8.50 for 15mL, though I'm not sure if it's still available.  At this time, Candy Lacquer's online store is down for maintenance, but you can find it HERE.  You can stay up-to-date on Candy Lacquer news on their Facebook page.


All products purchased for me by my fiance.  Thanks, hun!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

piCture pOlish-Mallard

For my birthday, my fiance and I visited the local duck pond (it was great, we got to see a couple of frat boys freak out when some pushy swans and geese converged on them lol).  Since we would be seeing mallards, I thought it would be fun to wear piCture pOlish Mallard!

Mallard features green and orange flakies in a very dark green, shimmery base.  Formula was great!  Mallard's only "flaw" is that it's a somewhat subtle polish.  In some lighting, it just looks like a dark/black color.  However, once you get it out in the sun or some other good lighting, those gorgeous flakies come out to play.  Shown is 2 coats, all photos taken outdoors.


Sorry for the funky finger positioning, my hands were acting up :-(

Sorry about the glare/reflections!

An 11mL bottle of Mallard costs $14.50.   You can buy piCture pOlish on Llarowe, Harlow & Co., Nail Polish CanadaSally Magpies, and other sites.  You can stay up-to-date on piCture pOlish news on their Facebook page.


Product purchased by me.