Friday, May 29, 2015

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Spring Flowers #4 (Lollipop Flowers)

Hi everyone, happy Friday!! So excited for the weekend to just relax and work on some nail art ideas. :)

Today, I have my final Spring Flowers look for this month's NCC theme. These didn't turn out exactly how I wanted, but I still think they're cute - I've decided to call them Lollipop Flowers. 

I started with a base of Pahlish Fleur de Sel - I absolutely love this polish!
Here is the description straight from Pahlish:

"This polish was inspired by raw unrefined pink salt. We've recently been reading a book about the history of salt here at Pahlish and have been fascinated by what we've learned. This Pahlish is a mix of various flakes intended to mimic the crystalline structure of salt!
It is a blush white jelly with a mix of microflakes in red metallic, shimmering white, and iridescent violet."

I think this is one of my favorites from Pahlish, which is saying something. It's so soft and pretty, and I don't own anything like it! So, I knew I wanted to use that one as a base and from there, I didn't really have a plan for what I was doing, aside from "spring flowers."

I grabbed a few of my Mentality Neon holos: Bolt, Scandal, and Startle, and I plopped some vaguely circular shapes down and then outlined little swirls in them using my white Stripe Rite brush. I drew on the stems using Mentality Shock. I topped it all off with my beloved HK Girl! :)

I call these lollipop flowers because they look like lollipops lol but I think what I was ultimately going for was a kind of abstract look that was bright and fun for spring! I think that comes across. I love these Neon Holos, they are so versatile!

Thanks everyone for checking out my floral looks. Next month's theme is Super Heroes and I can't wait! I've got some great ideas already :)

Be sure to check out everyone's final Spring Flowers mani! <3

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Vintage" Swatch: Loreal Abrupt

Hi loves! I have a different kind of post for you today. You'll have to let me know if you like this sort of thing, because I have plenty more where this came from!

My mom works at Walmart and when I was growing up she was the manager of the cosmetics department. This meant we got tons of cool samples, nail polish that had some spilled on the bottle so they couldn't sell it, etc. My mom was also very into nail polish! I blame her for my addiction, lol. Anyways, when I first got really into polish, she gave me one of the old spinny displays and a ton of her old nail polish to go with it. 

Every so often, I pull one of those old polishes out and test it out just to see how it is. It's so interesting how much has changed in the polish world, just in the last 15-10 years or so!

Today, the polish I have to share with you is Loreal JetSet in Abrupt!

The label has this one marked as a "Perle" finish, that's part of the reason I wanted to test it out. I thought, what the heck does that mean? Lots of polishes have a "perle" look to them, but you don't mark it on the bottle...turns out I think their perle means suede or matte.

It's tough to tell in these photos, but the first one is without topcoat and the second is with topcoat. You can see the difference if you look closely. It was much more evident in person!

This is 3 coats of Abrupt with no topcoat. Formula was okay, definitely better than I expected after sitting for so many years. It was a touch on the thin/sheer side, but super buildable. No problems to report!

And here it is WITH topcoat. I think I prefer it with. You can really see all the shimmer come through this way. I think this is really a pretty color! It's like a very light periwinkle - it reminds me of fairies. I'm impressed with how unique it is - back then, there wasn't as wide a range of colors as there is now.

I'd love to hear what you think of this polish!

And, let me know if you'd like to see more "vintage" polishes (they're mostly all from the late 80's-90's) from my stash. If there's interest, I would definitely do a weekly series or something like that. I've got tons of these to try and would be happy to share! :)

Thanks for reading! <3

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nail Challenge Collaborative - Spring Flowers #3 (Sunflowers)

Hi everyone! It's back to reality today, unfortunately. :( Those 3 days off went way too fast! At least it will be a short work week now, which is nice.

Today I've got my third Spring Flowers look for the NCC to share with you. I'm really excited about this one! 

Surprise surprise, this one was inspired by Lindsey at Wondrously Polished again! Here is her original post for reference. Mine didn't turn out exactly as I would have liked but I still think it's pretty. As soon as I saw Lindsey's original mani, I thought of Lucky 13 Lacquer Softening the Bad Things, so I used that as a base. I wish I had a Stripe Rite brush in yellow, note to self: I need to pick one up! I had to use one of my brushes with Sally Hansen Lightening and it just didn't make as thin of petals as I wanted. Oh well! I mixed Lightening with China Glaze Life Preserver for the little sunburst inside the flowers, and then I dotted with Life Preserver in the middle. HK Girl to top it all off! :)

I think Softening the Bad Things is a perfect base for these kind of flowers - I love the color combo and the glitters swimming underneath! :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this look! And as always, check out what everyone else came up with for Week 3!

Thanks for reading! <3

Monday, May 25, 2015

Nail Challenge Collaborative - Spring Flowers #2 (Floral V's)

Hi lovelies! I hope you're having a wonderful Memorial Day! It's nice to have an extra day off but it's gloomy and rainy here in Ohio. We had planned to try to grill out later so hopefully it clears up.

I'm using this extra time off to get some nail art and editing done, so today I have my next mani for this month's NCC theme - Spring Flowers! As soon as I hear florals, I always go to Wondrously Polished for inspiration. Lindsey is honestly unmatched when it comes to floral nail art. I love her unique and quirky designs! You've gotta go see her original post that I used for inspiration. 

I started with a base of Sinful Colors Rain Storm. I drew my V's on first so I could see where the flowers should go and then after I was done I drew another coat of the white V over top of anywhere the flowers overlapped it. I dotted on the flowers using Zoya Sooki, OPI Can't Find My Czechbook, OPI You're Such a Budapest, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Sally Hansen Presto Pink and Sally Hansen Lightening. I topped it all off with HK Girl.

Of course, I don't like my version as much as Lindsey's, but that's to be expected - she's awesome!! But I still really like how this turned out. I thought it was really cute and very springy. Especially that rainy blue with a peek of bright, pretty flowers - that's pretty much how spring is around here anyway.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out the other ladies' looks for Week 2! <3

Friday, May 22, 2015

LynBDesigns: Nightmare Revisited

Hi, loves! Happy Friday! I'm SO excited it's Friday, I am going with my maid of honor to pick out her bridesmaid's dress this weekend, so I'm excited about that too. It's a 3 day weekend for Memorial Day, so I plan to get some work done too with the extra time - lots of editing and cleaning planned.

Today I have a gorgeous polish to share with you - LynBDesigns Nightmare Revisited!

I got Nightmare Revisited in a sale this past winter, and I was blown away! It is described as a raspberry linear holo jelly. The holo effect in this is insane. The formula was a little on the sheer side, but definitely very buildable. This is 3 coats with topcoat.

Since I got this polish in the middle of winter, there was no sun to be found, so these photos were all taken in the light box. You can see how amazing the holo effect is even in artificial lighting - I have to try it again in sunlight!

Nightmare Revisited is part of the Nightmare Begins collection, and it is available now in the LynBDesigns Etsy shop for $10!

Thanks for reading! <3

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nail Challenge Collaborative - Spring Flowers #1 (Cherry Blossoms)

Hi everyone! Today I have my first Spring Flowers mani for the Nail Challenge Collaborative!

This mani was inspired by Robin Moses, and I followed her tutorial. She makes it look so easy, but it wasn't lol! You can see the tutorial I followed here.

I started with a base of Sinful Colors Snow Me White, then I used a fan brush to brush on a bit of Sinful Shine in Yours Truly. I drew the tree branches on with my Stripe Rite brush in black, then I dotted on Zoya Sooki for the blossoms. I used HK Girl to top it all off! :)

I wish I had a dark brown for the branches, but I realized too late that China Glaze Mahogany Magic (which is like, the only brown I own) was not going to cut it! I used the black and it turned out okay, but dark brown would have made more sense. If anyone has any suggestions for a good dark brown for nail art, I'd appreciate them!

I really loved this look! I feel like it's just right for spring. It didn't turn out totally perfect, but I think it creates a really striking look either way and I got a lot of compliments on it! I love Robin Moses' tutorials, she is truly so talented. :)

Be sure to have a look at the other girls' manis for week 1!

Thanks for reading <3

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ipsy Beautifully Bohemian Bag!

Hi lovelies! Today I'm here to share my April Ipsy Glam bag with you! A little late, I know. But that's how I roll haha. 

This month's glam bag is called Beautifully Bohemian, which I LOVE! I tend to gravitate towards the whole boho-chic kind of style, so I was super excited to check out this bag. 

The bag itself is super cute, it's like a straw-ish material in a basket weave pattern with some pops of color! Of course, I adore the little ipsy zipper pull as always. :)

Some snaps of the postcard that came with it. Love love LOVE that hair! That is my ideal hair to a T. :)

Now let's have a look at what is inside! I'll list the brand, name, and description of what it is, and then I'll include the retail price and my thoughts on each item.

Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
Natural Tint

Description from the Klorane site:

  • For dark shades of hair
  • Cleans hair without water
  • Restores volume
  • Saves time and water
  • Extends the life of blowouts
  • No sulfates, parabens, silicones or sodium chloride

This size bottle is sold as a travel size and 1 oz retails for $9.

My thoughts:
I have to be honest, I'm not a big fan of this dry shampoo. It's not the worst I ever tried, but not the best either. If I were to try this on my own, I don't think I would have chosen a tinted one. I followed the instructions, but when I sprayed it own, I noticed it was just extremely white, like I had dumped powder on my head. And it didn't really blend in with time or extra combing it though. I ended up having to wash my hair to just get the white out. It smelled nice but just wasn't worth the hassle of trying to blend it in.

Mini Nude Eyeshadow

Description from the Nude Dude site:
Introducing theBalm's latest addition to the Nude series... Nude Dude! Get a quick look using any combination of these triple-milled shadows or dress up your look by adding water to transform your favorite shades into loyal liners. This total package includes 12 full-bodied shadows that can be worn alone or layered for added intensity, so go ahead and cover (or uncover) your eyes.

The Nude Dude full 12-shade palette (pictured on the left side of the above sample) retails for $36.

My thoughts:
I instantly fell in love with this packaging lol! First of all, how adorable is it that it's like a little book? It has a little magnet in it that holds the flap closed. Then, you open it up to see a naked man with a chest made of eyeshadow - what could be better!? Haha. Anyway, I really love this color eyeshadow! It's a shimmery burnt brown/copper color. I think it's a touch dark for me to wear every day, like to work - but it's perfect for a fun night out or a date night! It went on great, nicely pigmented.

Julie G Nail Polish

Description from the Julie G site:
You won't be a damsel in distress with mid-tone pink crème.

Retails for $3.99.

My thoughts:
I like Julie G nail polish, so I was excited to see one in my bag! I feel like I have about a hundred polishes in this shade, though, so it's nothing new. It did come with a $1 off coupon, though, which is nice. That means I can get another shade for just $2.99! :)

Sophisticated & Sensual

Description from the Aromachology site:
Our traditional and feminine Floral is filled with notes that transform into a soft, feminine and flirty scent, just like you. The delicate combination of White Lily and Tuberose with a hint of Grapefruit creates a classic and romantic fragrance.

This is 0.17 fl oz that was included in the Ipsy bag. The standard bottle size for sale is 1.69 fl oz, and it retails for $70.

My thoughts:
I love this perfume!! At first sniff, I thought, yeah, it's okay. But it really grew on me! It's very light and fresh, perfect for spring. But it's also not too sweet, it smells like a grown up. I love it. I could really see myself buying a full size of this once it runs out. :)

Too Faced
Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick
Melted Peony

Description from the Too Faced site:
Get the staying power of a stain and the intense color of a liquid lipstick in one long-wear formula.

Retails for $21.

My thoughts:
OMG OMG OMG my brain exploded when I opened my bag and saw this!! I'd seen so much other bloggers post about these but I'd never gotten a chance to try them, pretty much solely because of the price. I can honestly say, I was not disappointed. I love the formula of these, I just dabbed it on using the spongey brush it came with, then rubbed it in with my finger. I dabbed off the excess with a paper towel, and it was the perfect pop of color! And it lasted all day too. I put it on in the morning and I only noticed it fading after we ate dinner. I initially thought the light pink was too much for me, too bright, but it ended up being more subtle than I thought it would be, especially when I dabbed the extra off with a paper towel. I'm so so happy this came in my bag and I can't wait to try even more shades of this lipstick!

So, to recap, the monetary values of these samples are as follows:

Klorane: 9.00
Nude Dude: 3.00
Julie G: 3.99 + 1.00 = 4.99
Aromachology: 7.00
Too Faced: 21.00

Total value = 44.99!!!
Seriously, the Too Faced Melted lippie made this bag such a ridiculously amazing value! I am so happy I signed up for the Ipsy Glam Bag!

You should consider signing up too, it's only $10 a month and you get such awesome products. I am loving trying all these new things I had never heard about or some things I had always wanted to try. It's a great way to find new everyday staples for your beauty routine without spending a fortune.

You can click here to sign up for your own Ipsy Glam Bag!! :)

Thanks for reading <3

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Red Dog Designs: Swatch Spam

*Nothing to disclose*

Hi everyone! I've got a fun swatch post for you today! These are from back when I had my long almond nails, I kind of miss them. :)

These three polishes I have for you today are all from Red Dog Designs. I have had nothing but good experiences with Red Dog, and these three are no exception!

First up is Gallifrey Stands!

Orange is my favorite color, so I knew I would like this one, but it was even better than I thought it would be.
Here is the description of Gallifrey Stands: "Various sized hex and circle glitters, in shades of red, gold, orange, and black, sprinkled with micro holo glitter, in a red-orange jelly base. (17 Different Glitters)."

I love this jelly base - it's so squishy!! And the mix of glitters is perfect. It's such a firey combination - so pretty. :)

Next up is Skeletini!

This is such a fun glitter topper for Halloween or any time. I paired it with a dark grey base, I can't remember the exact name, sorry! I think it was a Sinful Colors polish though.
Skeletini is described as: "Pink skull glitters, with various sized hex and shredded glitters in dark pastel shades of pink, yellow, green, purple, and black, sprinkled with micro holo glitter in a clear base."

Last for today is Bad to the Bone!

I just love these cute skull glitters so much! I paired this one with one of my favorite nudes, OPI Skull & Glossbones.
Here is the description of Bad to the Bone: "Hot pink holo skull glitters, with various sized hex, square, and dot glitters in purple, black holo, purple holo, and gun metal, sprinkled with micro holo glitter in a clear base."

All three of these pretties are available now in the Red Dog Designs shop! Also be sure to follow them on Facebook to keep up to date on new releases and sales! :)

Thanks for reading! <3

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mentality Crystalchromes!!

**I want to note that I am no longer affiliated with, or a supporter of, Mentality Nail Polish. Please see my post detailing my experiences with Mentality by clicking here for more information. In short, I would STRONGLY recommend not buying Mentality due to harmful effects that their polishes have had on some people. Even if you've been having an issue and you can't say for sure that it's Mentality polish that's causing it, discontinue use immediately. I didn't know what it was and by the time I realized, serious damage had been done to my nails. They are still not healed. Just don't take any chances. I will leave up my posts where I have reviewed or swatched Mentality polishes because I don't want to just delete them and pretend like nothing happened. I would also recommend reading these great, informative posts by Ashley is Polish Addicted and also The Mercurial Magpie who explain what's happened. Lab Muffin also offers some really interesting possibilities for what specifically about the polishes could be causing these effects.**

Hello everyone!! I am SO excited to bring you this post today. It has been too long since the flakie trend explosion hit the nail world and I was waiting to try them until one of my favorite brands put our their version. Turns out I made a great decision, because Mentality has finally come out with their version of the flakie, and they are called the Crystalchromes.

These flakies are unlike ANY other that has been put out so far because the flakes are made of a unique, exclusive ceramic/glass hybrid!! These amazing crystal glass flecks are different from the metal flakies because of the unique way the glass reflects and shows the stunning color shift. These flakes have a complex texture and shape - no two flakes are alike - yet they lay completely smooth. 

I want to take a minute here and discuss formula to save time, since all of these were pretty much the same. For all of these polishes, formula was great - even better than I expected! The flakies are PACKED in the base, no fishing needed. In fact, I had to brush most of the flakies off the brush before application to make sure it didn't cover up too much of my base. It makes these super easy to build up to opacity for a different look. And, given how shredded these look, I thought for sure you would feel something on the nail, but no! They really do lay completely flat. No edges sticking up, driving me nuts - they are amazing. I honestly have no complaints about these formulas - they are amazing!!

Now let's get on to the swatches. First up is Carnival!

Carnival is an exclusive ceramic/glass hybrid that shifts from red to yellow to green. Apply one coat as a topper, or 2-3 coats for opacity. Here is a macro shot in the bottle.

For this mani, I used one thin coat of Carnival over Sinful Colors Black on Black, except on my accent nail, which shows 3 coats of Carnival alone. I used HK Girl topcoat.

This polish really reminds me of fire, and flames - love it! <3

The weirdest thing happened when I took photos of this mani in sunlight! It made the base look dark purple - but I swear, it's the same black creme as in the other photos! So weird. But still so pretty :)

I wanted to do some kind of firey nail art stamping but I apparently don't have a stamp with flames on it. I swore I did! So, I just kinda picked a stamp that reminded me of fire a little bit haha. It didn't really turn out but I figured I'd show you guys anyway.

Here are two macros on the nail - one in the lightbox and one in direct sunlight, showing how different the base looks!

Next up is the lovely Carousel!

Carousel is an exclusive ceramic/glass hybrid that shifts from purple to an orangish red. Apply one coat as a topper, or 2-3 coats for opacity.

Shown here is 1 coat of Carousel over Sinful Colors Black on Black, except for the accent, which shows 4 coats of Carousel. This was the only one that I needed an extra coat for full opacity. But, the thin coats made it not too terrible to add an extra coat. I used HK Girl topcoat.

I love how this polish just seems to really glow! The blurple flakies are so vibrant, especially against the black base! I was thinking this one would be a great topper for Halloween, over a bright orange or a lime green.

I wanted to add something fun to this mani, so I used a decal that I got from Born Pretty Store on the accent nail. I love how it changes the look so easily! I just stuck it on and done!

And of course, I have to show you a macro of Carousel on the nail. Check out all the different sizes and shapes of flakies!

Next for today is Funhouse!

Funhouse is an exclusive ceramic/glass hybrid that shifts from aqua to blue to purple. Apply one coat as a topper, or 2-3 coats for opacity.

I've shown 1 thin coat of Funhouse over Sinful Colors Black on Black, except for the accent which is 3 coats of Funhouse alone. I've used HK Girl topcoat to seal it in!

This one really reminds me of oceans, water, and waves! Or mermaid scales. It would be great in a nautical themed nail art look. I think I'll have to try that :)

To go with the waves/water imagery that Funhouse reminded me of, I chose a swirly decal from Born Pretty Store to add to the accent. I think it really completes the look!

And here's a macro on the nail. I love how you can really see the color shift here!

This next one is my favorite of the entire collection - Panorama!

Panorama is an exclusive ceramic/glass hybrid that is a multicolor blend of color shifting glass flecks. Apply one coat as a topper, or 2-3 coats for opacity.

Seriously!? I can't even with this polish! There are so many amazing colors in here and they all work so well together! I can think of so many colors that would be great to pair this topper with. Here, I've shown 1 thin coat over Sinful Colors Black on Black, except for the accent nail, which is 3 coats of Panorama alone. I used HK Girl topcoat.

I actually love this both over black and built up alone - I don't think I can pick a favorite! It's so multidimensional and every time I look at it, it looks different! Love it so much.

I've used another Born Pretty Store decal here to add something extra to the mani. I just love these decals! They are so easy to use but I think they really make the look.

These macros on the nail kind of blow my mind. I think this might be my favorite polish ever! It looks so great on its own too! You can really see all the different color shifts in the flakies when you look at it up close.

And last but not least - check out Sideshow!

Sideshow is an exclusive ceramic/glass hybrid that shifts from orange to green to blue. Apply one coat as a topper, or 2-3 coats for opacity.

I've shown 1 thin coat of Sideshow over Sinful Colors Black on Black, except for the accent nail, which is 3 coats of Sideshow alone. I used HK Girl to top it off.

This one just feels so elegant to me! The gold color along with the shimmering effect of the flakies just reminds me of fancy parties and luxury! :)

At first, I really saw the gold color in these flakies predominantly, but when you look at the bottle macro above, or these macro nails below, the blue/green shift is so evident! It's amazing. I love how unique these flakies are and how a simple lighting change totally alters the look of the polish!

The Crystalchromes are available now in the Mentality shop!!

You can purchase the entire set, all 5 Crystalchromes, for $100 - or they retail for $20.75 apiece. These flakies are somewhat pricier than the metal flakies that have hit the market recently, because of the exclusive pigment and the ceramic/glass hybrid of the flakies. I believe these are worth every penny! You can get flakie polishes cheaper, but not of the same quality as these are. They are truly unlike anything else that is out there. Also, because the flakies are so packed into the base, and you need so little as a topper, I could see one bottle lasting me a really long time! So I think they are a great value for what you're getting.

You can see the listing for the entire Crystalchrome set here!

And you can find the listing for the nail stickers from Born Pretty Store here. If you use my code, you can save 10% also! :)

Check out the Mentality shop to see these and other great polishes, and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on new releases! Thanks for reading!