Thursday, September 18, 2014

Indie Maker Spotlight - The Worse Games to Play Collection by Polish TBH

Today I am beyond thrilled to be sharing the Polish TBH fall collection and an interview with Christian, the brains and beauty behind this operation, with you! When Christian first started posting photos of the Hunger Games inspired Worse Games to Play collection, I was immediately enamored with the entire thing. I am a total Hunger Games fangirl, and these polishes connected with the series in a way that other collections have fallen short. I was so excited when Christian reached out to me to review the collection, and even more so when she agreed to answer some questions about the brand and this new release. Read on for lots of pictures and a peek into what goes into this labor of love!

Polishes provided for review.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nvr Enuff Polish - The Pagemaster Collection Swatches & Review

Happy Labor Day weekend, polished world! Today I finally have the wonderful nostalgia-filled Pagemaster collection by Nvr Enuff Polish to share with you! I was thrilled when I saw that this recently formed indie brand was creating a collection inspired by one of my favorite childhood films. I remember begging my parents to rent this video for me constantly, loving it, but also winding up in bed with them terrified. Watch, rinse, repeat--weekend after weekend. I guess that says something about me being a little weirdo, but at least it exposed me to this classic!

Polish provided for review.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trust Fund Beauty Swatches & Review

Tonight I have some swatches to share with you from a brand I just recently discovered and fell head over heels in love with, Trust Fund Beauty! When I discovered the brand on Instagram, I immediately knew that this was one indie to keep an eye on. Their attitude is sassy, chic, and hilarious, all of which is echoed in their product lines, names, and descriptions. You'll see what I mean if you keep scrolling, and check out the four gorgeous polishes I had the opportunity to review.

First two polishes shown were provided for review. The second two polishes shown were purchased by me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NOTD: Pastel Mermaid Nail Art

Nail babes, I have a confession to make. Since my first attempts at nail art in March 2013 and starting my blog almost a year ago, I have never...NEVER... done mermaid nails. I know, I'm a fraud; a failure. What kind of nail girl isn't obsessed with mermaids? And doesn't create mermaid-esque masterpieces on her claws to celebrate the summer? I don't know what took me so long to come to my senses as a mermaid-loving nail artist of the 21st century, but the good news is that I finally did.

Let the healing begin.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Laquerlicious Summer Releases Swatch & Review

Hi everyone! I've been sitting on these Laquerlicious swatches for way too long, but I finally got around to writing them up. Seems like I can always make time to do my nails, but making time to edit photos and write up a post can be more difficult. I'm hoping to get better about this once I start school and am forced to mange my time better!

In case you've been living under a rock, Laquerlicious is a celebrated indie brand known for bold and eclectic glitter mixes. This is the second time I've had the opportunity to review these amazing polishes, (you can take a look at the 2013 Christmas collection and an indie maker spotlight with the maker Michelle here!) and I was thrilled to try a few more!

Polishes provided at discount for purpose of review.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Galaxy mani - Guest post on Reinovate Nails

Hey nail babes! I have guest post over at Reinovate Nails today. Head over to Rei's blog for more pictures of this galaxy mani, the inspiration behind it, and a tutorial! Enjoy :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Halo Hues Series - Eternal Beauty, Cosmic Fate, & Harp On It

Hi, all! Today I finally have the second post in my Color Club Halo Hues series that I began a million years ago (aka June 9th) for your viewing pleasure. For those of you just joining us, I recently made a super impulsive Amazon purchase and ordered all twelve of the famous Color Club holographic polishes. To justify my recklessness, I am swatching my way through them and sharing them in a series of blog posts.

Click here to catch up on part one of the series, otherwise, onward to holo goodness!

Friday, July 18, 2014

NOTD: China Glaze Gradient & Lumina Lacquer

TGIF, nail babes! Today I wore this summery gradient topped with one of my favorite glitter toppers of all time. It was a fabulous way to celebrate the end of a long work week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NOTD: Stripes, Studs, and Chevrons

My nail of the day is this girly, simple design that I did on top of a sheer white base.

I started out with four thin coats of OPI - Don't Touch My Tutu, a white crelly polish. Here I've topped it with Sally Hansen Big Matte Topcoat. I absolutely love this polish--it's perfect for a palate cleanser. Using this for the first time in a while,  I realized how much I've improved with using sheer polishes. It really does require practice!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dainty Digits Polish Swatch & Review

Tonight I have swatches of some polishes by Dainty Digits Polish, a new-to-me indie brand. After a hiatus, Anetress has recently reopened her shop, to the joy of polish addicts everywhere. I was so excited when she reached out to me to review some of her products and promote the store's reopening. I was surprised by the variety that she sent me, and impressed that she has developed the ability to create so many different types of polish so very well!

Polishes provided for review.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stained Glass Twin Nails

Today I have a fun twin mani that I did with Tracey, also known as @missbellatracey on Instagram.

She suggested we do a neon stained glass mani, so I picked a few neon shades from my collection that would somewhat match her OPI neon set (that I totally covet! Even though they're not technically neon...they're so pretty!) I can't speak for her, but mine are WAY brighter in person, as is often the case with neons. Even with that, I think they both turned out really great!

Monday, June 30, 2014

10k Collab for Autumn

Today I have a recreation of one of my favorite nail girls' previous manis, Autumn aka @justagirlandhernails!

To celebrate Autumn hitting 10k followers on Instagram, two of her besties, Amanda and Christina, pulled together 20 fabulous nail ladies to recreate some of her amazing nail art. I was so honored to be invited to be included in this talented group!

I chose to recreate this lovely floral design over a polka dot and sheer base. How do you think I did?!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Save Pacific Blue Collab Pictures!

I am so proud of the huge response Rei and I got for our "save Pacific Blue" collab! It's pretty incredible to me how one simple, $3 drugstore polish brought so many polish lovers together. Some of the people who participated have hundreds of polishes in the collection; others have only a handful--Pacific Blue is important and special to all of them. Obviously, they are all pretty upset.

My issue with Sally Hansen isn't in the fact that they discontinued or reformulated a beloved polish. It sucks, but that happens all the time. What's irritating to me, and many others, is that they quietly made these changes and packaged it as the same product as if no one would notice. Additionally, Sally Hansen's PR has handled the outraged masses poorly. A large part of that is likely the result of them feeling overwhelmed. I know I'm glad to not be in that PR director's shoes right now.

My hope is that this will get their attention, and get them to listen to us, or at least honestly acknowledge the situation in a direct manner. In the age of social media, people crave interaction with the brands they care about, and like to feel that their voice means something. All we're asking for is to be heard!

Here is a larger version of the photo:

And here's the mani I submitted. Can you find it in there?

Finally, I really enjoyed reading through all the emails everyone sent. My favorite message came from a mom who uses the color annually to support Autism awareness and her son that has the disorder. As silly as this controversy make seem to some, this matters to a lot of people. Obviously we're not curing cancer here, but the right polish can brighten even the cloudiest day! Anyway, here is a word cloud I created with the email messages I received:

Thanks again for participating, everyone! Please repost these images to all of your social media to spread the word!
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Save Sally Hansen Pacific Blue!

Most of you probably already saw this on my Instagram, but I wanted to post it here, too, just in case you missed it!

There has been an uproar in the nail community this week over the changes in formula to some cult favorites in the Sally Hansen Extreme Wear line--most notably, Pacific Blue. What was once a perfect, creamy dulled cobalt blue one-coater is now a shimmery, sheer, gloopy mess. It appears that changes have also been made to Mellow Yellow, and there is talk of changes to Coral Reef and other favorites in the collection. Polish addicts have posted many comments and questions to Sally Hansen's account looking for answers, and all have received a standard, formulaic response. Needless to say, the hive has been rattled, and people are getting angry.

In an attempt to get Sally Hansen's attention and to show our solidarity as a community, my friend Rei of Reinovate Nails and I have teamed up for a "save Pacific Blue" collab! As the photo below states, please send ANY manicure photos you have using the flawless original formula of this polish to by next Friday, June 27th. It can be a swatch or nail art, and can be a recent or older picture. We want to show Sally Hansen that this is important to us! There is strength in numbers, so join in and tell your friends! You can find the original posts on mine and Rei's Instagram pages, or at the beginning of the tag #savepacificbluecollab

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Picture Polish Inspired Colorblocking

Hi everyone! Today I have this edgy color blocked mani inspired by the Picture Polish Urban Shades. If you're not familiar with Picture Polish, it's a renowned indie brand made in Australia. They're famous for their flawless formula, unique shades, and collaboration with and support of nail bloggers. When I first saw their recent Urban Shades, I was immediately in love. Unfortunately, I'm American, which makes these elusive shades much more difficult to come by and, more notably, extremely pricey!

I simply couldn't justify splurging for the entire collection...but I was lucky enough to find half of the collection through a destash sale! Chillax is a bright aquamarine cream that applied beautifully. Swagger is a cool, periwinkle blue with a similarly flawless formulation. 

Chillax was definitely my favorite in the collection, so I was especially thrilled to have found this one!

Since I had found the first half of the collection for such a reasonable price, I considered taking the plunge and picking up the other two for full price. Then I happened upon some *possible* dupes for the rest of the collection with a much more affordable price tag. What do you think?

Photos property of Picture Polish; swatches by Lacquertude.

Bonkers is a burgundy creme, and Totes is a pastel orange that reminds me of creamsicles. 

Rimmel London - Simply Sizzling is a vibrant magenta shade that echoes Bonkers--somewhat. It's not as dark, and definitely warmer in tone. Rimmel London - Reggae Splash, however, looks like an almost exact dupe for Totes. I think these two polishes work well with the Picture Polish shades, and fills the void (sort of) that was left by only picking up half of the collection. I have to say that I was impressed with the formula of the Rimmel polishes; I had never used them before. 

I accented this funky design with a metallic gold pinky using Sally Hansen Color Foil - Liquid Gold. The formula was somewhat tricky to work with, but I love the metallic look. I have to restrain myself from picking up the rest of this collection.

For the design, I started with a single coat of Essie - BlancI then applied a thin layer of Seche Vite to speed the dry time. While I waiting for the base to dry completely, I applied two generous coats of Liquid Gold to my accent nails (pinky on right hand, index and middle finger on my left). I used striping tape from the Born Pretty Store to create the color blocks, and my medium sized liner brush from the Winstonia store to fill them in using all four shades reviewed above. Then, using a Bundlemonster dotting tool and my Winstonia detail brush, I added polka dots and zig zags to a few of the blocks using Blanc. I topped everything off with a coat of HK Girl Topcoat.

What do you think? Am I kidding myself with these "dupes?" 
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NOTD: Neverland Lacquers - Sunkissed

Today's nail of the day is this awesomely unique thermal polish from Neverland Lacquers (formerly Popculture Cosmetics--I think. Her Instagram has changed to Neverland Lacquers, and the polishes were labeled as such, so that's what I'm going with). It took me a while to get into thermal polishes; for some reason I just didn't get the appeal. Once I finally tried one, I was hooked, and have been trying to expand my collection ever since. This one stole my heart the second I saw this glorious transition!

Sunkissed is a sheer, jelly thermal polish packed with gold, iridescent flakies. These photos show four thin coats topped with Seche Vite. The formula was excellent. It was on the thinner side, which is good, since the polish is quite sheer and I imagine most people would want to apply at least three coats. Also, the flakies were plentiful, and spread evenly across the nail. The sheerness allowed for a fabulous, multi-dimensional shimmer.

In its warm state, Sunkissed is a nude/rose gold. It's definitely sheer, so there's a bit of visible nail line. I love jellies though, so that didn't bother me. You could probably get away with adding a fifth coat, which would make the polish more opaque in its warm state.

The photo above shows a macro of Sunkissed in its warm state, and the photo below shows it in transition. Again, I just love these gold flakies so much!

In it's cold state, Sunkissed is a surprisingly vibrant and fully opaque tangerine shade. And you can still see that gold shimmer!

And here's the macro! I was really pleasantly surprised by this polish. The transition was much more dramatic than I expected, and again, the formula was flawless. This polish is available at the Pop Culture Cosmetics website!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Winstonia Nail Art Brush Review

The last couple of weeks have been really great for me as far as nail art. Some of that is being out of school, giving me more time for designs, and some of it is the change in the season, which has inspired me to mirror the brightness and sunshine outside on my nails. However, a big part of my recent success is that I've been using Winstonia Professional Nail Art Brushes for most of my designs. An artist is only as strong as her tools, so I was thrilled when Winstonia contacted me about reviewing this brush set. I opted to use the brushes over a few weeks to develop a full opinion on them, which I've described in the post below!

Brushes provided for review. All polishes purchased by me.

Photo property of Winstonia. Text/arrows added by me!
I added the labels to the photo above so you'd know what I'm talking about throughout the post in reference to which brushes I use for each technique.

Since the first photo was taken from the Winstonia website, I included this photo of my actual brushes to show what they looked like upon arrival. The bristles were also encased in a plastic cover for protection.

After using these brushes multiple times over the past couple weeks, I am very impressed with their durability. I do all of my designs with polish, (mostly because I'm stubborn about using acrylic paint) so the brushes have to be cleaned in pure acetone. They have maintained their shape nicely, and don't seem to have been immediately deteriorated by the acetone.

For this design, I used four of the five of the Winstonia brushes:
Striper ~ Black and silver stripes on middle finger (done using Sinful Colors - Black on Black & a-england - Excalibur)
Medium liner ~ Outline of chevron on middle finger, (done using OPI - Jinx) silver and orange outline of teardrop on index finger, outline of iris (done using OPI - Fly) and pupil in eyeball
Thin liner ~ Outline of eyeball, eyelashes, and small chevrons on index finger
Thick liner ~ used to fill in silver portion, iris, and pupil of eyeball, chevron on middle finger, and teardrop on index finger

The glitter that inspired this whole look is Milani - Sugar Rim. I was surprised to find such a wonderfully unique glitter mix at the drugstore! It includes small teal hexes, tiny yellow, black, and coral hexes, and mid-sized silver shards. All photos show two dabbed coats; on my index and pinky nail, Sugar Rim is dabbed over OPI - Fly, and on my thumb (macro above) it is over a-england - Excalibur.

The lovely Milani glitter mix reminded me of this cool bracelet I had, which was the other inspiration for this mani.

I've seen lots of people doing "evil eye" manis lately, and unfortunately, I think mine turned out a little more creepy than trendy. I love how the entire look came together, though!

Here are four other manis that I used the Winstonia brush set for over the past few weeks. Like I said, it's been a fantastic couple of weeks for me, and I definitely credit these great brushes for a lot of it! I want to mention that I used the thick liner brush to paint the orange studs on the top right mani. If you've ever tried to paint studs, you know what a pain it is to use a regular sized polish brush!

Here are the close ups. For the outline of the "V" in the top left, the light pink portion of the roses in the bottom left, and the outline, horn detail, and mane of the unicorn design in the bottom right, I used the fine detail brush. I've previously had to trim brushes to achieve such fine detail, and I loved having a brush that arrived read to complete these more detailed designs!

Overall, I was very impressed with this set. The brushes held up much better than others I've used in the past despite exposure to polish and acetone. I found the brushes easy to manipulate, and love that the bristles held their shape. Finally, I liked the variety in length and thickness, and loved that I didn't feel the need to trim the fine detail brush. 

The 5 piece Winstonia brush set, which you can get (along with lots of other beauty products) at their Website. You can also follow them on Instagram for info about promotions and giveaways!
Monday, June 9, 2014

Color Club Halo Hues Series - Cherubic & Angel Kiss

I recently picked up my very first Color Club holo in a blog sale, and was instantly entranced by the utter amazingness of Cherubic. Somewhat impulsively and irresponsibly, I immediately ordered ALL of the Color Club Halo Hues, and have decided to share them with you all in an ongoing series of posts. These will be limited in word count, because these polishes really speak for themselves. Also, most polish lovers are already pretty familiar with the collection, so I'm just adding to the global gallery and giving you holo porn to gaze at all night long.

And so, without further ado...

Cherubic is described as an "angelic pink" linear holographic polish. I think it leans more neutral/nude than pink, especially when you put it next to some of the other similar shades in the collection. Photos show two coats with topcoat, taken in direct sunlight.

I don't have as many pictures of this one, as I intended for it to be a quick mani that I wasn't planning on blogging about. Don't worry, I'll make up for this oversight with the others :)

Angel Kiss is a blue-green linear holographic polish. Photos show three thin coats with top coat. Two would have been enough, but my beloved HK Girl Topcoat shrunk this polish, (!!! first time that's ever happened) so another coat was necessary to even out the ridges that appeared as the top coat dried. You can still see some evidence of shrinkage at the tips, but I'm hoping this is just a fluke. Either way, it hardly takes away from the beauty of this shade!

I hope you're as excited about this series as I am! These polishes are so breathtaking in person, and I hope I can approximate their impact in photos as much as possible. These polishes are available through the Color Club website, or if you're cheap like me, you can pick them up with the older labels from this seller on Amazon. I give her five stars for price, quick shipping, and safe packaging!