Monday, December 30, 2013

Loaded Honey Holiday Duo

Greetings, nail babes! I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas, and is gearing up for their New Year's celebrations (and manis!) Today I have an awesome holiday duo to share with you from Nail Honey and Loaded Lacquer.

Polish provided for review.

The collaboration set comes with two lovingly hand-made polishes that complement each other perfectly, but can also stand alone. Also, the set isn't exclusively "Christmas-y," making it appropriate for year-round wear!

Nail Honey's contribution to the duo is Sleigh of Steel, a rich, slate gray with lots of silvery, cool toned shimmer. It's no secret that I'm a HUGE supporter of Nail Honey and adore her formulas; this was no exception. This one could definitely be a one-coater if applied carefully, but the photo above shows two coats without topcoat. On its own, the polish dries to a satin, semi-matte finish. This is a perfect winter neutral!

Loaded Lacquer's half of the duo is this gorgeous glitter topper, Giddy Up Jingle Horse. The topper is comprised of metallic magenta and silver hex glitters in various sizes. The photo above shows two coats on my ring finger with minimal placement of some of the larger glitters, and one sponged coat on the rest of my tips. Though I did choose to place a few glitters because I'm crazy and a control freak, it is absolutely not necessary for achieving a dynamic look. Each brush stroke had a good variety of glitters, and applied evenly. I've topped this entire look with Seche Vite topcoat to even out the glitter and add glossy shine.

Of course, I also HAD to mattefy this mani! I used one coat of OPI Matte Top Coat. I love matte glitter, and I think the muted shimmer in Sleigh of Steel is really apparent once I added the matte topper. Just beautiful!

The Loaded Honey Holiday Duo is still available in Nail Honey's online shop, so pick it up while you still can! You can also follow both Nail Honey and Loaded Lacquer on Instagram for future releases and updates.
Friday, December 20, 2013

Show Stopper

There's a good bit of of controversy surrounding red polishes: too standard, difficult to match to skin tones, staining issues. I personally love reds and pinks; they're classics, reminiscent of the time when nail art and unexpected colors were totally unacceptable. Not that I'm about to put away my nail art brushes, glitters, or beloved blue polishes anytime soon, but there's something so satisfying about a solid red. Today I have a red polish to share that I believe could turn a lot of anti-red polish lovers: Show Stopper by Smokey Mountain Lacquers.

Polish provided for review.

Show Stopper is a warm toned red metallic polish with scattered holo shimmer throughout. Photos show two thin coats with top coat.

I absolutely adore this polish! Formula was great, and the polish applied and spread evenly. As with any metallic polish, there were some visible brush strokes, but applying thin coats and smoothing them out with the brush kept that to a minimum.

Just look at that holo sparkle! Subtle enough for everyday wear, but still unique and--true to its name--a real show stopper!

Show Stopper will be released soon, so be sure to follow Smokey Mountain Lacquers on Instagram for updates. You can shop her current collections online here or here!
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy

Today I have different post from my normal swatches or nail art. I've recently added a new product my nail care routine, and wanted to share it with you: Glycerine Hand Therapy in Midnight Monarch by Camille Beckman!

I received a sample of this hand cream in my December Birchbox, and it was one of the first products I tried out. I've been a Birchbox subscriber for about six months, and have always been satisfied with the contents of my boxes. I choose to subscribe to try new products and brands, and to be introduced to things I ordinarily wouldn't buy for myself. However, I have only ever ordered one other product in full size after receiving a Birchbox sample before this one, so that should speak pretty highly of my impressions.

Glycerine Hand Therapy is a blend of natural ingredients that you'll find in most moisturizers, specifically for hands or otherwise. There are a few things that really set this cream apart:
  1. SUPER fast absorption - Since I received this sample (and subsequently, my full sized bottle) I have been using this product immediately before taking nail photos. To chagrin of most nail bloggers and instagrammers, the optimal moisture balance in up close, high definition nail photos can be difficult to achieve. Obviously dry patches are a no-no, but greasy nail beds are just as bad. This product absorbs almost immediately, leaving NO greasy residue.
  2. Delicious smell - The sample I received was the "Midnight Monarch" scent, which is described on the Birchbox website as having, "notes of jasmine and bergamot over a base of patchouli and sweet vanilla amber." What that translates to in real life is a nice blend of sweet and spicy, with a hint of florals without being at all overwhelming. I have found myself re-applying throughout the day just for the delicious smell!
  3. Immediate results - Okay, okay, I get that this sounds too good to be true. But, as seen in the photos below, applying this product has noticeable, immediate results, making my cuticles look smooth and healthy:


I have now been using this product for just over a week, and have no reservations in recommending it to nail lovers and product junkies alike. A word of advice, though: take the Birchbox instructions to apply "liberally" with a grain of salt; I've found that only a small amount is necessary for optimal results, and over applying only makes it more difficult to massage into your skin, especially around your cuticles and nail beds.

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy is currently available through Birchbox and directly from the Camille Beckman website

Want a Birchbox subscription? Sign up here!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Glow Glow Purple!

Hi everyone! I apologize for my hiatus, but I needed to take a small break from blogging to devote my time to school for finals and the end of the semester. Now that it's over, I have a whole month to make up for lost time!

Today I have another gorgeous polish from Smokey Mountain Lacquers to share with you!

Polish provided for review.

Glow Glow Purple is a sheer purple polish with slightly shimmery undertones. This photo shows two thing layers with top coat. Application was easy and very even. The polish dried with a bit of fine, grainy texture, which smoothed out easily with one coat of top coat.

And it glows!! This was my first time trying to capture glowing polish. I think it need some practice :-/ I took this after holding my hand near a lit bulb for about 45 seconds. The glow stayed charged for the entire 5 minutes I tried to get a decent photo!

I LOVE jelly polishes, and this one is no exception! This photo shows how versatile they can be. I prefer the "squishy" see through of 1-2 coats, but as you can see it's totally opaque in three. Adding a fourth coat adds some depth an richness.

Here I've topped Glow Glow Purple with one dabbed coat of Lumina Lacuqer - Moon Child.

And here's the best part about jelly polishes-- jelly sammiches!! Here I've topped the glitter in the photo above with one more thin coat of Glow Glow Purple and OPI Matte top coat. Squishy perfection!

Follow Smokey Mountain Lacquers on Instagram, and you can shop her polishes online here or here!
Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Nail Art Round Up

November was the first month in quite a while that I was able to make time for a good amount of nail art...unfortunately, I wasn't quite as good at making time to blog about my designs. So here's a review of some of my favorite manis from November!

Striping tape accents featuring Mermaid Lacquer - Nude Beach and OPI DS - Extravagance.

Peacock gradient nails featuring China Glaze - Too Yacht to Handle & That's Shore Bright and OPI - Fly topped with Nail Honey - All Gold Errthang and some gold studs! These were definitely my favorite this month.

Neon leopard print with China Glaze - Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and OPI - Don't Pretzel My Buttons. Fierce!

My Catching Fire nails! Featuring Painted Polish - Girl on Fire & District 12 and Hunger Games inspired details.

Which was your favorite?! Let me know in the comments! And be sure to follow me on instagram for more!