Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mini Polish Haul

Today I discovered that Ross sells inexpensive sets of nail polish and that Ulta is the most amazing place for polish I've ever seen.

I came away with six polishes total today. Three from Ross, two from Ulta, and one from Walmart.

From left to right: e.l.f. Mod Mauve, Sunset, Plum, Essence Fairytale Once Upon a Time, Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers Night Glow, and Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love.

I got the three e.l.f. polishes from Ross in a collection called Pretty Polish: The Purple Trio for only two dollars. Ross is definitely worth looking at for polish collections. The one near me had at least a dozen more for very reasonable prices.

This is my first Essence polish. Its a beautiful bright red with so much sparkle. Not to mention the bottle is adorable. The top has purple flowers with black butterflies. I found this one at Ulta in the clearance section for a dollar.

I noticed this polish for the bottle before I even realized it was glow in the dark. I love all things Halloween and horror. So the tombstone caught my eye. When I saw glow in the dark, I literally bounced in the store. I have never tried any of the Fantasy Makers collection, but I am a fan of Wet n Wild, so I'm very optimistic. I tried to get a picture of this bottle in the dark. Despite it being very visible to my eye, the camera would not pick up the glow.

Last but not least, I got a matte top coat from Hard Candy. I have never used a matte polish before, but I am very excited about trying it out.

By the way, within the next day or two, I will be posting my manicure for Teal Toes, in support of raising awareness for ovarian cancer. The idea is to paint our toes and/or fingers teal to help raise awareness in the month of September, since it will be ovarian cancer awareness month.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nail Mail and General Rambling

I'm not sure one polish in the mail deserves a whole post, but I've got a lot to talk about so...

I ordered a very pretty polish last week and got it today. China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald, from their Vintage Vixen Fall 2010 Collection. Its a very pretty deep teal with some shimmer. Swatches will come within a couple of weeks. I purchased it with the intention of painting peacock feathers on my nails.

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The color is not very visible in any of my pictures (I took more than just two). So I hunted down a stock photo, which shows it better.

Its a very pretty shade in person and exactly what I wanted. I really hope its as pretty (if not prettier) on my nails. 

I bought this polish off after getting a $5 Amazon giftcard from Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a website where you earn electronic points called Swagbucks for doing a variety of tasks. You can redeem the points for a variety of things. But I was interested in giftcards. I signed up August 4th. I earned all of my points through using their search engine, taking the daily poll, and using the toolbar I installed in my browser. Within two weeks, I had enough points to get a $5 Amazon giftcard. How amazing is that? I just replaced my usual search engine with theirs and answered a poll question. I did not even have to technically use the toolbar. It gives the point automatically when your browser opens. It is absolutely worth trying. 

I blogged about my first Julep Maven package a couple of days ago. While I have not used any of the polishes yet, I did use Julep's Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub. I'm in love! My hands are naturally soft (except during the cold months when I rely on my hand cream). But this scrub made them feel even softer and smoother. I used it last night and they still feel amazing. And the smell is great too. Very fruity. To me it smelled like apricots. 

Julep's site descriped the hand scrub as: "Potent glycolic acid combined with apricot seeds provides powerful double exfoliation that leaves your hands feeling noticeably softer and looking younger after just one use.  Naturally scented with orange oil for a refreshing aromatherapy boost with each use."

I got a sample of it in my Maven package as well. I will be including it in my first giveaway. I am not sure when that will be however.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Galaxy Nails

I love the idea of galaxy nails! Capturing the beauty of space on your nails. I've been wanting to try it for the longest time, but was always nervous I would fail at it. But I got a little nudge. This week's theme on PAA is Galaxy Nails. This urged me into attempting it.

They did not come out exactly as I expected, but I still love them.

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It is basically a lot of layering, mostly with a tiny piece of a makeup sponge. The torn edge gives it a nice fading effect. I used several polishes, mostly glitter to give the stars some depth. I started off with two coats of Love My Nails Black Rage. Then with the makeup sponge, I added Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow, a light pink Bon Bons polish, and a dark blue that no longer has a label (which I've decided to call Brand X No-Name Midnight Blue for the sake of wanting a name). I added some dots with Snow Me White to act as stars. For more stars, I added on the glitter. I sponged on L.A. Colors Sparkling Diamonds and Sassy Sparkle. I also brushed on Nicole by OPI Let's Get Star-ted and contoured my galaxies with e.l.f. Light Pink. Its a very sheer pink with so much shimmer. 

It is a lot of polish, I know. But it does not feel like a lot. Its not thick at all. Which I love. Usually layering polishes has a thick look or feel.

I am definitely going to do this design again in the future. With some tweaks that I think will make it better and give more depth.

I hope you like it! And are inspired to give galaxy nails a try yourself :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My First Julep Maven Package

I have been anxiously awaiting this package. And it finally came today. Which was a lovely surprise. It was estimated for delivery on the 30th. I love early packages!

I have not tried any of my goodies yet, but I'm so excited about trying them. I will try out the Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub tonight and talk about it in my next post. The polishes, however, will wait until next week. I have two nail designs I'm dying to attempt.

I took pictures of everything, so its like opening the box with me. It came in a nice black box sealed with the Julep symbol.

Once opened the first thing you see is a card saying "Welcome American Beauty". It lists out what my sneak peek box includes. And on the back talks about sharing the Maven Program with my friends.

Next there is a welcome letter. My favorite part is that my name is handwritten in and the CEO/Founder Jane signed her name. Its not some mass printed letter. Along with the letter is a sheet explaining all about being a Maven.

I spy a little bag! Its like going shopping. I love it! And upon pulling it out, I notice its tied with a pretty pink ribbon. What a nice touch!

Inside there is a box with my Glycolic Hand Scrub, my polishes wrapped in pink tissue paper, and two samples. The samples are a hand cream with SPF 30 and Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub. I will probably save the sample scrub for a polish swap or giveaway since I already have the regular sized bottle.

After unwrapping the pink tissue paper, I see my three polishes. From left to right: Julep Nail Therapy, Cameron, and Alfre. Nail Therapy is supposed to keep nails strong, healthy and nourished. It contains Vitamin E and can be used alone or as a basecoat. Cameron is a beautiful pink. I can tell just from the bottle that I will love it! And last, but not least, Alfre. Its a brand new polish, not yet released from their Fall '11 collection. In the bottle it looks like an almost metallic purple/gray. I'm not a big fan of the gray shades, but I saw a swatch of Alfre on another blog, and I think I'll love it for Fall.

I am so excited about my first Julep Maven package. I cannot believe all the stuff I received. Each month is supposed to be $40 worth of products for only $20. I got this package for $5, and the card says the retail value is $76. Its an amazing value!

For anyone wondering about the Maven Program by Julep, I did a previous post about it after I placed my order. You can find it here. If you would like to go directly to the Julep website, please click here. Julep runs an amazing offer that for every person that signs up through my link, I get something toward my next purchase.

Polish Haul

I couldn't not buy more L.A. Colors polish, especially when the 'Buy 2, Get One for a Penny' coupon ended today. And my lovely mother volunteered to use one coupon while I used the other, so I came away with six today. Along with an e.l.f. polish. Very pretty colors, most chosen with Autumn in mind. Although there really is no such thing as four seasons here in Louisiana, I still embrace Fall colors around the end of September. Who needs Fall weather to wear the colors?

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Colors from left to right (in the first two pictures): L.A. Colors Current, Phenomena, Hardener-Strengthener, Sparkling Diamonds, Nuclear Energy, Shock, and e.l.f. Clear.

They are all very pretty in person. I'm especially excited about Sparkling Diamonds. I love glitter! I'm not sure when I will get around to swatching them. I have two nail designs I want to do first. Plus, I got some nail mail today. My first box from the Maven Program by Julep. I have a lot to talk about concerning it, so I'm splitting it into another post.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Palest Mauve - A Lovely Pink

Sometimes I can keep a manicure for days. Other times, I want to change it everyday. Wednesday I used Vintage Dream (my first franken) and by the next day, I was wanting a different color. I love the polish, just needed change.

So last night, I sat down to wipe off the old and paint on some new. I could not part with my flower design just yet, so I kept it and decided to go with a color from the design. I chose the main flower color, Love My Nails Palest Mauve. Its a lovely shade of pink, think dusty rose.

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I still have little bumps on my nails. Which I'm beginning to highly suspect is from my top coat. The bubbles were not there with just the pink polish alone. So either I misjudged and placed the top coat on too soon, or its bubble prone. I plan to buy a new clear polish tomorrow. Even if the problem isn't the top coat, I can always use more bottles.

By the way, I do not know how many people own Love My Nails polishes, but I would highly recommend them, especially if you're on a polish budget. I own eight of them and love each one of them. They are super cheap. I buy mine at Walmart for a dollar. And you can get chrome and duo-chrome ones for two dollars. They have a large selection of colors, more than any other inexpensive polish I've seen.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three New Additions to my Stash

I got some new polish today! I've never tried L.A. Colors, but I have heard its great inexpensive polish. Family Dollar is having a sale on it. Its on sale for $1 (though most stores already have it for a dollar) and with a coupon from their website, if you buy two polishes, you get one for a penny. Three bottles of polish for a little over two dollars is amazing.

I, of course, got three. They had some really pretty shades. A lot of reds, pinks, purples, blues, and gray/black shades (at least at my store). I have so many shades of red and pink that I was leaning more toward purple and blue. I ended up getting a very pretty shade of turquoise and two glitters.

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Both pictures are pretty accurate as to how the polishes look in person in the bottle. Though oddly enough, without a flash you see the glitter better. From left to right they are: Sea Siren, Sassy Sparkle, and Treasure Island.

Sassy Sparkle (middle) is a very pretty glitter. You cannot tell in the picture but it is a holo. Mostly orange and green tones, but still very pretty.

I cannot wait to try each of them out! I've been dying for some new shades.

On a non-polish note, I got more than just the polish today for amazing prices. I managed to get Halloween shapes for earrings (I make and sell jewelry), Nutella, an enormous bag of chips, pretty bangles from India, castor oil, and canola oil all for a little less than $10! The Halloween shapes were super inexpensive on sale. The Nutella, chips, and bangles I got all from World Market. They sent me a coupon for $10 off as a birthday gift, plus my normal discount for being a member. Cost me 81 cents including tax after my coupon. The bangles are so pretty! The castor oil and canola oil is for a face cleansing thing I'm trying called OCM (Oil Cleansing Method). Its supposed to work wonders. I'll let y'all know. I know the blog is all about polish, but a little beauty tip thrown in later won't hurt.

My First Franken

I've mixed colors before to get a polish a wanted, but its always been one or two drops, enough to last me through one mani. Though I've been wanting to mix a polish of my own. I had a half empty clear polish bottle and intended to just mix powder, but one thing led to another and I was mixing polishes in as well.

I went a little crazy with the adding. I started off with this pretty shimmering blue eyeshadow I've had forever but never use. The polish was too sheer, so I added some light blue polish. Not the right color. I thought adding two drops of light green might give it a nudge toward turquoise or aqua. But apparently two drops of green for the whole bottle forever made the mixture green. Things sort of spiraled down from there. I added in more blues and even some pale colors in an attempt to steer the shade closer to blue.

On top of the powder and clear polish I ended up adding in: Sally Hansen Peach, Petites White, Love My Nails Innocent Pink, Sally Hansen Creme, Pure Ice Wild Thing, Pure Ice Splash, and a dark blue that I no longer have a label for.

By the time I was done, I was very unsure about my franken. But I know better than to judge a polish by the bottle, so I waited until I painted the polish on to vote it a success or failure.

So last night, I set out to see how my polish would look on. One brushstroke in and I was in love. It was a pretty shade of green with a lovely shimmer. I wanted more than just a simple polish so I added an accent nail on each hand. However, given I'm a rightie, the work I did on my right hand with my left was bad. So I ended up repainting that nail and just going with a design on my left ring finger only.

The only thing about my franken that I'm unhappy with is the texture. It painted on smooth. But I noticed after it dried that I had little bumps. Now I'm not sure if its from the polish itself. Maybe I painted it on too thick. Or my top coat caused them. I'll have to see if the bumps appear next time I use the polish. But even with the bumps, I'm thrilled with the polish.

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The pictures without a flash are a better representation of the color in person. You can't really see any shimmer in the pictures of the polish on, but it is noticeable in person. Though you can see the shimmer while its in the bottle.

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I'm pretty happy with it. And I absolutely love the little flowers I painted for my accent nail. Though I cannot take credit for the idea. Its a design by CutePolish and the video can be found here. For my little flowers, I used Love My Nails Palest Mauve for the main flower color, No6 Party Punch for the accent flower color, and a mix of Pure Ice Wild Thing and Love My Nails Black Rage for the leaves.

I love the idea of naming one's polish creations. So I came up with a name for my polish. Vintage Dream. The green automatically makes me thing vintage, while the pretty shimmer inspired the second half.

Oh, I almost forgot... I know someone is sitting here reading this entry and wondering what in the world a franken is. Think Frankenstein. A franken is the result of frankening, which is the process of mixing different polishes, pigments, glitter, et cetera to create a unique polish or FrankenPolish.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my little franken adventure. Please comment and let me know what you think about Vintage Dream :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Julep Maven

Last week I signed up for the Maven program by Julep. I cannot resist anything nail polish related. At first I was wary. A monthly subscribe sounds fun, but what's to say I'll have the spare cash every month. However, I saw a code to get the first box for only $5. Sold!

If anyone is interested, you go to the Julep website and click on the Julep Maven tab. You take a fun quiz to get your Style. If you are happy with the style it gives, you can sign up. If not, take the quiz again. I got American Beauty. I have a thing for bold designs, but I always fall back to simpler shades, so the style was perfect for me.

I have not received my first order yet but it is supposed to have three polishes (Cameron, Elfe, another based on my style quiz), a glycolic hand scrub, and two samples. All worth $40, but priced at $20 as part of the Maven program. However, I got it for only $5, with discount code smh9oxu.

It is absolutely worth trying, even if you just get the first box. If you sign up, you receive the first box for only $5 with the discount code, plus free shipping. Every month after that, you pay $20. You receive free shipping and 20% off all future orders. You can also skip a month, send that month's box to a friend, or cancel at any time.

I'm not sure yet whether I'll keep my subscription or not. But I'm so excited about receiving all of the stuff in my first box for five dollars.

If you decide to give Julep Maven a try, you can click on the link below. Once you sign up, they offer a referral link. For every person that signs up from that link, you'll earn $15 towards a purchase. So please use the link below if you decide to sign up :)

Let's Get Star-ted!

I'm a little behind on posting this. I've had a couple of things happen that I won't go into. But here it is.

For my birthday my lovely friend Amanda got me a beautiful polish. Tons of glitter and little iridescent stars. Holy Holo! I was so excited to try it out. So Saturday night I went to painting. First I used two coats of Love My Nails Black Rage then two coats of Nichole by OPI Let's Get Star-ted. I was in love from the first brush stroke!

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You can clearly see that there is tons of glitter for just two coats. And the stars! I love the little stars! From the picture of the bottle you can tell they are iridescent.

This is my first bottle of OPI. I had no idea what I was missing. The polish went on so smooth, which I found amazing especially for a glitter. The brush was wonderful. The neck of the bottle has a little sticker saying its a "New Perfect Stroke Brush." And it is. Its a shorter wide brush with practically perfect application.

Getting back to the stars... if anyone is wary about purchasing the polish because of the large stars, don't be. I had no trouble getting them on flat. I have not had any issue with catching on my hair or anything else.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sparkle Mani

Friday was my birthday and I did an eye catching design on my fingers. The tips were completely covered in glitter. Tons of sparkle! Next time I will know to use smaller glitter, but I still loved the design.

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You can see at least a little bit of how it reflects light. I loved it! And it did not catch as much as you would think.

The application was easy, just took a little time. I did each nail one at a time. I painted the white of my nail with clear polish then dipped it in the glitter. Tap off the excess. Make sure none of the pieces stick out past the nail. Then put a clear coat over the entire nail. Pretty easy. Just took some time for the tips to dry.

I took this design off last night. It wasn't hard to remove either.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mint Sorbet

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet. First time I've worn this color. Its a beautiful shade of green. Reminds me of a pastel. It took me two coats for it to be opaque.

I'm love with it right now. And I'm not that big of a green fan.

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The picture does not do it justice however. I looked at other swatches of this color and they turned out the same as mine. The color is a hint darker and a little brighter than the picture. I'm going to see if taking a picture in natural light tomorrow will show the color better.

Even if you're not a fan of green (like me), this polish is definitely worth a try.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A giveaway to support Teal Toes, to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.

Teal Toes Giveaway

Teal Toes; Raising Ovarian Cancer Awareness.
Click here for more

Strawberry Splatter

I'm in love with my cute little design. The nail art theme for PAA was splatter. I tried doing it with a straw, but I think mine were too big, so I grabbed a sponge. Came out really cute, I think.

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I used Sinful Snow Me White as the base color with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow, Pure Ice Wild Thing (Green), and No6 Party Punch (Pink/Red) as the splatter.

I was in love with the idea of using strawberry colors splashed across each nail. The red berry, yellow seeds, and green leaves.

The method to do this design was super easy. I'm going to make a video tutorial for it this week, my first one ever.

If you want something fun and easy, you should try it. The color combinations are endless.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Paint Splatter Nails

I had so much fun making my paint splatter nails! It took me some time, but it was totally worth it.

The idea was not mine. Credit goes to CutePolish. She has some of the prettiest nail designs, with tutorials on each. Links to her Youtube channel and Facebook are at the bottom.

The design is easy to do. All you need is white polish, four polishes in your choice of colors, base coat, top coat, and a toothpick. I did mine while watching a movie.

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Sorry about the picture quality. Its not the best. My camera was MIA when I did this manicure so I took this on my cell phone.

For my nails I used Love My Nails New Love (Red), Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow, Pure Ice Wild Thing (Green), a midnight blue, and Petites White as a base. My bottle of blue no longer has a label and I cannot remember the brand or name.

Its a fun design to wear! Definitely worth trying at least once. :)

CutePolish's Youtube Channel and Facebook

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Nail Blog

I love painting my nails! Always have. I painted my mother's nails, my friends, and even my dolls when I was little. I used to have a decent sized collection of polish. It has dwindled, but I'm working on building it up again.

I never knew so many people shared my love for polish and nail art until recently. I've been blown away. And it occurred to me that perhaps people might want to see my designs as well. Or to just see the colors I paint in hopes of finding a new shade for their nails.

The first few designs I'm going to post are recent and were inspired by someone else's creation. But don't worry, I always give credit where credit is due.

I hope at least a few can enjoy my new blog!