Friday, March 30, 2012

Nail Mail! April's Julep Maven Box (It Girl)

For my 50th post (woohoo!) I have April's Julep Maven box to share!  I chose the "It Girl" box as it usually comes with an extra polish rather than hand care products.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that my polishes came in a rather nice zippered bag!  I'm not sure what I'll use it for, but I'm glad to have it :)  Julep also sent me a few Easter chocolates, which my boyfriend and I promptly devoured.

Inside the bag was two foam toe separators, as well as my three polishes!

Niecy - A bright pink creme for sunny days
Penelope - Opaque, almost white creme with a hint of blush
Jessica - Soft and sweet baby blue creme

Over all, I'm quite pleased with this month's Maven box.  I don't think I have any dupes for these colors (except maybe Niecy) but I'll find out for sure when I do swatches soon!

If you're unsure what the Julep Maven program is, click HERE! for more info :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Huge Thank You to Love For Lacquer!

I should have posted this sooner, but I just wanted to thank Love For Lacquer for featuring me in her Brand Spankin' New Blog Week!  I think it's an awesome (and generous!) idea to help out new bloggers!  I have noticed some new followers (Hi new people!!!) and I have also really enjoyed checking out some of the other new blogs that have been featured this week.

So, HUGE thanks to Love For Lacquer!  Check out her blog, if you haven't already, to see the Brand Spankin' New Blog Week posts, and also to check out her reviews and gorgeous swatches!

It's haul time!! Bundle Monster & Sinful Colors

I'm back!!  I have been MIA for about a week now!  I feel so guilty about it, but life has been crazy lately!  I've had about a million interviews, and have just started my new job- I'm still in the process of interviewing and (hopefully) getting a second job because I looove monies!  In addition to all that, my lovely boyfriend's car exploded (okay, not literally) so we've been sharing mine during the car shopping process.  Good news is, we found one and are picking it up tomorrow!

The current craziness has not been able to stop me from ordering nail mail and picking up a few polishes here and there!  I finally decided to venture into the world of stamping, so I picked up a Konad stamper/scraper on EBay (only $5!) and committed to a 21 piece Bundle Monster plate set!

Look at all these plates for $17.99 including shipping!  Such an awesome deal!  I haven't tried them yet, which is why they look blue- they all have their protective films on.

21 Piece Set
I just can't stop buying Sinful Colors!  I was pretty "meh" about them at first, but they've really grown on me.  I picked up two from their recent Sheer Shimmer Collection; "Flutter" & "Sweet Dreams", one from the Castaway Collection; "Athens", and one from their (I'm assuming) permanent line; "Unicorn".

I've also grabbed some new topcoats in the past week; two Seche Vites and one NYC Matte Me Crazy.

I'm going to have so many swatches and stamping projects to share in the near future!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Healthy Hands and Nails

I just wanted to do a semi quick post on my hand/nail care.  My hands and nails are prone to being pretty ragged and gross, so I'm going to share some of the super inexpensive products I use to help keep them in decent shape.  I don't by and means think mine are in amazing condition, but I do my best!

I always see other bloggers with gorgeous hands and nails and wonder to myself, How does she do it?! but I don't see many ladies posting their hand/nail care routine.  If you're a blogger, I would love to see a post on your routine too!

A huge part of keeping my hands and nails in good shape is plain old moisturizer!  I don't use anything fancy, just fragrance free Vaseline brand Intense Rescue Repairing Moisture lotion.  I'm really picky about lotions and I find a lot of them to be greasy and dirty feeling, but this one really soaks in quickly.  I try to remind myself to moisturize at least twice a day.  This product can be found at any drug store for around $5.
Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture (Fragrance Free)  

Once or twice a week, I will remove my cuticles before doing a manicure.  I like to use the Blue Cross brand cuticle remover.  It is pretty gentle, has a minimal scent, and does an excellent job- plus, its super cheap!  I purchased a 16oz bottle at Sallys Beauty for $6- it will probably last my entire life time!  I apply it with a Q-Tip, allow it to do its magic for about 2 minutes, and then rub away the removed cuticle with more Q-Tips.  At first, the thought of using a chemical to remove my cuticles scared me, but now I realize its far less scary than attempting to cut them- as long as you're sure to wash your hands afterwards!
Blue Cross Cuticle Remover

Lots of people love cuticle oil, and I am no exception!  I find most cuticle oil products to be really messy, so I prefer it in a pen style format.  I am absolutely in love with ELF's Nourishing Cuticle Pen!  It soaks in so quickly, no mess, and the tip on the pen is firm (yet soft) enough to push your cuticles back.  The best part about this product is that its only $1!  Each pen lasts me quite a long time (about a month) despite the fact that I use it about twice a day.
ELF Nourishing Cuticle Pen

So whats your routine?  I'd love to know!

(All photos used were courtesy of Google images search - these are not my photos!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Color Club - All About Color Collection (Part 1)

Man, I am just Color Club crazy lately!  This is the second set I purchased in my recent Ross haul and I'm loving it almost just as much as the Back to Boho set.  Again, the formulas are awesome, but I guess the color selection is a little boring (gasp!) and leaves me wondering why this set is called "All About Color".  If it really was all about color, why have 4 shades of red/pink?  I don't know... On to the swatches! 

Trippie Hippie

In my opinion, Trippie Hippie is one of the few polishes that make sense to have in an All About Color collection.  Sure, this color isn't super unique, but its beautiful and I don't have a dupe for it, so I'm happy.  Like most metallic polishes, you can see the brush strokes if you look closely, but its nothing noticeable in person.  I only needed 2 coats.

In Bloom
In Bloom is a super cute cream pink- there isn't really much else to say about it lol.  Not a unique color by any stretch, but still very pretty.  I used 2 coats, but probably should have gone for 3 as you can see a couple small bald spots.

This one of those berry colors that meets somewhere between red and pink.  Again, not very unique- I'm sure every polish company in existence have done this color.  One thing I can say is, holy crap this one is glossy, which made taking pictures a bit difficult- I thought my camera was going to have a fit.  I used 2 coats, but really only needed 1.

Cadillac Red

Another crazy super glossy polish!  Its a very beautiful red..... And that's about it.  Two coats.

If you can believe it, there is yet ANOTHER cream pink in this collection that I have yet to swatch.  I really feel that this should have been more of a "classics" collection, considering more than half of the set are classic cream colors.  No offense Color Club, I still love you!  I'll swatch the remaining three polishes soon :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Color Club - Back to Boho Collection (Part 2)

Today was such an awesome day!  The weather was absolutely perfect, and I got the opportunity to swatch my little heart out!  Here are the final three colors in the Back to Boho set I got at Ross.  The 7th polish in the set was a base coat which I've been using under all of my recent swatches.  Like the rest of my Color Clubs, these all have very nice formulas.

Nomadic in Nude
I've only had Nomadic in Nude for a week, but I've already worn it twice- I think that is a record for me!  I had a couple job interviews (fingers crossed!) this week and decided this was the perfect shade of nude to wear.  First coat of this polish is a little scary, but the second smooths everything out.

Rad Nomad
Rad Nomad is a gorgeous fall color, I am surprised by how much I like it.  In photos, this may look like a dark gray, but in person the purple tones are more obvious.  This polish is super glossy and only needs two coats.

Red-ical Gypsy
 Another nice fall shade, a deep almost vampy red.  Though I can appreciate this polish, its definitely my least favorite of this Color Club set.  I'm not really a huge fan of deep reds unless there's glitter and/or shimmer involved.

Over all, I really love this set and I'm considering going back to Ross to grab some more for gifts.  Is it weird that I Christmas shop all year long?  ....Did I really just say "Christmas" in March?  Yikes.

Dear Julep Fast Dry Topcoat...

As of tonight, we are officially broken up.  I just can't stand you any longer.  You think you're so cool in your pretty, sleek bottle- but I'm not falling for that any more!  First of all, you're thin like water, and second of all, you're barely even shiny.

My breaking point with you was when you destroyed my nail art by smearing all the colors together.  I let my polish dry for over 20 minutes, there is no excuse for your bad behavior!  Not even the cheapest of topcoats would treat me so badly.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Color Club - Back to Boho Collection (Part 1)

Today I have some swatches of Color Club's Back to Boho collection which was released for fall 2011.  I picked these up as part of my Ross Haul and I am totally loving them!  Instead of repeating myself for each swatch, I'll just say now that their formulas are awesome and only required 2 coats each.

New Bohemian
This color is so beautiful, and really surprises me to find it as part of a fall collection.  This polish strikes me as a spring/summer type color.  Perhaps I'll use it for some Easter themed nail art! 

Shabby Drab
Another awesome color!  I love how glossy this one is.  My photo brings out the more blue side of this shade, but in person it is a bit more purple.  It really reminds me of Sinful Colors Zeus that I just picked up, except without any shimmer.

Earthy Angel
In the bottle, this one looks a little gross, but once applied I actually really liked it.  It is a really pretty camel color that would look amazing on someone with a darker skin tone than myself.

I am so stoked to have added these to my collection, and I am falling so deeply in love with Color Club!  I will swatch the rest of this collection soon :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sinful Colors - Zeus

I know I said I wouldn't be purchasing any more Sinful Colors polishes due to their hit and miss formulas, but after seeing swatches of Zeus, I just couldn't resist!  I am so glad I decided to give Sinful Colors another chance, because I absolutely love this one!  Zeus is part of their new spring/summer collection, Cast Away.  It is a medium-dark dusty purple with pinky peachy shimmer.  The shimmer reminds me a lot of the shimmer in Cinderella but maybe a little finer and less gritty.

Sinful Colors - Zeus

The formula on this polish was really nice, not too thick and not too runny.  You could easily get away with one generous coat, but I chose to do two thin coats.  You can see the brush strokes in my close up photo, but in person they're barely visible.

One thing I've noticed while purchasing Sinful Colors polishes- lots of them have wonky brushes!  If you decide to pick some up, be sure to take a peak inside.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Color Club Haul from Ross

Recently, I have noticed other bloggers picking up amazing Color Club sets for less than $10 at a store called Ross, thus making me insanely jealous.  I'm originally from Maine (where there are no Ross stores) so I was pretty clueless on the subject.  I relocated to Maryland last summer and am still a little lost about my surroundings, so I went to the Ross website and discovered there is a store just 15 miles from my home!  The boyfriend & I made the journey today where I found two Color Club sets for $7.99 each!  That's almost a dollar per bottle!

I am so thrilled!  I can't wait to start swatching these!  I'm a little bummed that the "All About Color" set doesn't have polish names, but I can deal.  If you have a Ross in your area, go check it out!

Swatches coming soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Glam Bag

Yesterday,  I received my third Glam Bag.  If you're unfamiliar with the MyGlam program, it is a monthly subscription similar to Birchbox.  Glam Bags are supposed to contain 4-5 deluxe or full size makeup/hair/skin care products.  Subscriptions are $10 per month.  As usual, my Glam Bag was shipped in cute, shiny packaging.

It seems a lot of people are unimpressed with the amount of makeup in the last few Glam Bags, and I hate to say it, but I'm starting to agree.  Also, I do not feel MyGlam held up their promise of 4-5 deluxe/full sized products this time around.  That being said, here are the contents:

Canvas Floral Makeup Bag
Keracolor Color Enhancing Leave-In Treatment (2 single use packets)
Murad Eye Lift Perfector (single use packet)
Pur-Lisse Lip Comfort (full size)
Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer (single use packet)
MyGlam fluffy eyeshadow brush with matching case
Dermstore $25 Gift Card (Not actually a gift card!  Requires $50 purchase)

In my opinion, this bag included 2 deluxe/full sized products; a lip treatment, and a no-name brand makeup brush.  I guess the big question is; was this bag worth $10?  In my opinion... Meh, I guess so.

I've also just gotta say- I don't like the whole coupon being labeled as a "Gift Card" trend.  It feels a little insulting and gimmicky.  But hey, Dermstore does sell Butter London, so perhaps I'll use it eventually.

Over all, I really do like MyGlam, and I have enjoyed previous months.  I will probably stick with MyGlam a bit longer to see what happens.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Coral & Purple Summer Nails!

I am SO ready for warm weather to get here, so today I decided to play with some fun summer colors.  This mani looks much better in person, the colors compliment each other really well.  Unfortunately, the purple shows up rather blue in photos.

Sinful Colors "Island Coral" & OPI "Do You Lilac It?"

 "Do You Lilac It?" always reminds me of my first Christmas with my boyfriend.  I had been looking for a bottle all summer and fall, but it was always sold out.  My lovely boyfriend took it upon himself to find it and gave it to me for Christmas.  He actually listened to me babble on about nail polish, and he even remembered months later.  Seriously... How amazing is that?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Every Day Makeup: Shimmering Green & Brown

In addition to my love for all things nail polish, I also have a passion for makeup.  I suppose I've been a little burned out with nail polish lately, as all my recent nail art has been disastrous!  So today, I'm going to mix things up a little bit and post one of my favorite every day makeup looks.  When I want to do something special with my makeup, these are color combinations I often turn to.  I tend to keep this look pretty simple so I've skipped on liquid liner, concealer, high lighters, contouring, etc.

Products Used:

MAC "Bisque" (brow bone)
MAC "Club"  (lid & crease)
Urban Decay "Absolem" (lid, over "Club")
Avon Khol Pencil "Dark Brown" (waterline)

Makeup Forever HD Foundation #117
E.L.F Studio Blush "Candid Coral"
L'Oreal Sheer Lipstick "Barely Rose"

Perhaps I will find the courage to post more of my favorite makeup looks in the future :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

OPI - Big Hair... Big Nails

I absolutely love how jelly polishes look in other people's swatch photos, but I have been unsure about trying one for myself.  I have very prominent nail whites, so I require a very opaque polish, which is why I've always stuck to creams.

During my last visit to the mall, I found "Big Hair... Big Nails" on sale at Trade Secret.  I had read good reviews of this jelly, so I thought I'd give it a shot and hope it would be opaque enough.  Here is "Big Hair... Big Nails" at 3 coats:

Three Coats

While the color is gorgeous, it just isn't opaque enough.  My VNL is still very obvious even after three coats.  The nail white almost creates a color gradient as the polish shows up orange on top of white.  On one finger, I decided to paint coat after coat just to see how many it would take to get to full opacity.  I lost count at around 8 coats, while never getting rid of the VNL.

So whats a girl to do?  I decided to try putting down a nude base to help hide my nail whites.  This is 1 coat of "Tickle My France-y" followed by 2 coats of "Big Hair... Big Nails".

"Tickle My France-y" & "Big Hair... Big Nails"
While this gets rid of the VNL, it dulls the color of the red jelly and looks a little... gross.  Maybe I'm just not meant to wear jelly polishes? 

Over all verdict on this polish is disappointing :(

Saturday, March 3, 2012

OPI Pirates of the Caribbean on Strager Tides Collection

This collection came out in the spring of 2011 so perhaps it is old news now, but this collection will always hold a special place in my heart.  I'm not sure I've ever been so crazy excited about any other polish collection!  An entire set of creamy, dirty pastels- awesome!  I wanted ALL of them so badly, but settled on just three. *sniffle*

Skull & Glossbones

This one is probably my absolute favorite from the collection, it is such an awesome gray!  I feel that it is appropriate for almost any occasion.  Its gray, so its not your nail polish norm- but it is so light and flattering that it doesn't scream for attention when you're wearing it.  Love, love, love!

Sparrow Me The Drama

Yet another awesome polish!  This one didn't strike me as very unique at first glance, but after applying it I realized it has a "dirty" quality to it.  It is not a bright pink, it is much more muted than your average bubblegum pink, but not quite a pastel either.

Stranger Tides

Lastly, is this collection's namesake.  While this is perhaps my least favorite of the bunch, I feel that it really sums this collection up well- dirty and murky.  I haven't worn this one much since I bought it, but I do love how unique it is.  I don't have any other polishes in my collection that look similar.

"Skull and Glossbones" & "Sparrow Me the Drama"

 One last thing about the Pirates collection- they all compliment each other so well due to their dirty, dusty qualities.  I shared this nail art a little while ago, but it applies to this post, so I'm sharing it again!

Thursday, March 1, 2012