Saturday, December 20, 2014

Above The Curve - Always Above The Board

                                                                                                                                     Purchased By Me     
Happy Saturday everyone! Are you ready for Christmas?? I'm pleased to say I've got pretty much all my shopping done, just a few stocking stuffers to snag and then I'm good to go! Every year I always say I'm going to start shopping early, but it hasn't happened yet, maybe next year will be the year! lol

Today I have a beautiful polish from Above The Curve - but then seriously, when ISN'T there a lovely polish that comes from ATC?!?  I have two other posts of their polishes, Blue and Purple Holo here with some nail art and the ever stunning Risen Angel here, which was one of my first ATC polishes.
This lovely gem is Crisp Autumn Air - a clean, light gray polish has a subtle and  lovely holographic influence. This is three light coats with a ATC's very own top coat on top. The formula was wonderful, nothing less than what you'd expect from Angel and Shawn's polishes; it didn't streak, no clumps and dried quickly. The first photo was taken with my OttLite, and as you can see shows a blue/gray tone and lovely holo.
 This photo was taken in direct sunlight and shows more of a gray/white tone. The stripes were done with Whats Up Nail Vinyls (review of those can be found here) and two other Above The Curve polishes, Family (blue holo) and Crunchy Leaves (burgundy holo).

You can find Above The Curve on Facebook, and Instagram along with their shop on Etsy.
International polish lovers can find Above The Curve at Pshiiit Boutique OverallBeauty.com, and Sally Magpies .
 $1 from each polish sale goes to the Shriner's Childrens Hospital to raise help and awareness of scoliosis. 
I've been a fan of Above The Curve for a while now, and am always impressed with their products. You won't regret checking them out! (well, your bank account might not appreciate it...but your nails will!!) ;-)
Cheers til next time. Happy Holidays! xoxo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sparkly Vernis

I stumbled on the most amazing photo of a beautiful holographic polish on Instagram right before Thanksgiving that hadn't been released yet, and was to be released on November 28th. Let me tell you friends, that was a long wait to get my hands on the lovely polish from Sparkly Vernis!!
And you're darn right I stayed up to the midnight launch to snag one!
This is Blurple Ice Cubes - a smashingly fabulous holo that shifts between bluish and purple hues.
The formula is beautiful, this is two regular coats that applied perfectly and dried quickly. Topped off with a coat of Glisten & Glow's HK Girl and wow, just look at it.
This photo was taken with my Otto light, simulating sunlight.
Sparkly Vernis has a store here, and you can fin them on InstagramTwitterFacebook and their  blog. There are some more lovely holo polishes in the store, you definitely need to check it out!
Cheers til next time!
xoxo



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Aliexpress Stamping Head Review

Happy Sunday everyone!
Just a quick post today, I did a video review of some stamping heads I purchased on AliExpress a couple of months ago and wanted to share with you.
There are two different orders: one set has six stamping heads in them, from firm to a squishy soft texture - the link to that set is here; and the other is a set of two marshmallow heads, which can be found here.
Now AliExpress doesn't process orders to Washington state where I am, so I had these sent to a friend of mine who graciously agreed to be my mule. It took about 30 days, which is typical, but they were packaged well and were not damaged in transit.
You can watch the video here on my page, or also go to my YouTube Channel and watch it there.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Opening - Loki's Nail Vinyls, Part 2


Happy Monday everyone! I have another post for you featuring nail vinyl decals from Loki's Nail Vinyls, who is having their grand opening today! They have a fabulous variety of vinyls and decals. (In particular, I'm eyeing the Police Box and Angel decals for my purchase) :-)
You can see my previous post about their Nail Aprons and wave style vinyls here.

Today's post features some sassy red lip decals. I used this product two different ways.


The first was to use the decal cut out, as usual. This is over a coat of Finger Paints Where Art Renoir? and sealed in with a top coat of Glisten & Glow's HK Girl. (used on all)
The decals were easy to remove from the sheet and apply. I wore this mani for a few days, and the decals held up well, no bleeding or wrinkling and they laid smooth after the top coat, so I didn't catch it on anything in daily wear. In particular, I really appreciated that the decal didn't gravitate to my nail and catch an edge onto my polish when I was trying to position it. Maybe you've had a similar experience? Some decal edges seem to magnetically grab onto the base when I'm close to the nail and trying to position it before I'm ready to actually place it, but these maintained their shape until I was ready. 
I also used the stencil outline from the lips decal, cutting it away from the sheet, applied it to my nail and sponged on some of Cult Nails Tempest then Evil Queen on and around the stencil, and on my ring and pinky fingers. The thickness of the vinyl material used was perfect; it was thick enough to stand up to being manipulated onto my nail but it wasn't so thick as to cause pooling with the polish to make it difficult to dry. 
I had to reposition the outline a couple of times to get it where I wanted, but I was pleased that it adhered properly and didn't cause any polish to seep under the design. You can see here from this picture that there's plenty of edge between the polish and the vinyl. 
Here are the results!
I plan on saving several of these for Valentine's Day - maybe if I start thinking and planning it now, I might be able to a design by then! (or maybe, probably more than one!!) 

You can find Loki's Lacquer on InstagramFacebookGoogle +Tumblr,Blog - be sure to check them out!











Friday, November 28, 2014

Loki's Nail Vinyls


Today I have a wonderful new product to show you today, actually, two - from Loki's Nail Vinyls. Be ready to have your PayPal accounts ready kids, and add these to your holiday shopping list, you are definitely going to want to get your hands on these! (Warning: this is a picture heavy post!)
First up is a fabulous item called a Nail Apron.
This handy dandy item is a reusable nail shield for your finger for just about any kind of nail art where the rest of you fingers are going to get messy - watermarbeling, stamping, gradients, the works. Here is how the Nail Apron looks when it is applied. The two halves wrap the nail to help protect your skin from all the wonderful nail art messiness planned! :-) The Nail Aprons come in two sizes, small and large - this white one is a small; it fits perfectly and was very easy to apply. I had to reposition it a couple of times to get it where I wanted closer around the tip of my finger, however, it didn't lose its adhesiveness and held in place very well.
And because Loki's got it going on all different ways - she's got some great nail vinyl shapes for more art. This one is a wave and french style guide. I used the wave vinyls  with Girly Bits Dick In A Box and Remembering Aja in a gradient. 

As most gradients go, it's pretty messy. But they're so worth it!! And as you can see in the following picture, the Nail Apron did a wonderful job of minimizing the mess from the gradient and all I needed was a quick clean up touch. The wave style vinyl was just as easy to apply, held up very well on the gradient, and gave me some really clean lines. I used it in this mani to play with some negative space. 


How much awesome is THAT?!?
Loki's Nail Vinyls are now available to pre-order, and the official launch date is set for December 1st, 2014, and there are so many to choose from! I'll have more on some of the shapes you can use in your mani which stay on. 
You can find Loki's Lacquer on InstagramFacebookGoogle +Tumblr,Blog - trust me, you'll want to follow all of them!!
Hope everyone has had a safe holiday!
Cheers til next time!
xoxo

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Born Pretty Store Stamping Plate



Today I have a beautiful stamping plate sent to me for review from the Born Pretty Store. This is the Dancing Peacock Theme which was just released this fall as part of a series of new plates. 

This plate is etched very well, and it was easy to use and pick up the images. The edges of the plates are smooth, I didn't have to worry about cutting my fingers. I used a couple of different stampers, one marshmallow, the Double Sided Squishy Stamper from Llarowe, and the Pueen Stamper, all of which did well with this plate. 
The base is Smitten Polish Nimbus and stamped with Orly Quo in Celestial Star
As you can see from the plate in my hand, the middle image is more than wide and long enough to cover nails up for the challenge. Mine are neither, but it still makes a pretty scene without it being obviously meant for larger nails.
Over all I'm really happy with this plate, and I'm looking forward to using the other plates from the same release date.
You can find all kinds of things at the  Born Pretty Store; nail art, polish, beauty products and accessories, cell phone accessories - it's a pretty awesome shop - you won't be sorry when you check it out!
Cheers until next time! xoxo



Saturday, November 8, 2014

Whats Up - Nail Art, That's What!


I have another review for you today, of some lovely nail vinyls from Whats Up Nail Art Store. I came across their store via their Instagram page and decided I had to try them! You can never have enough nail vinyls for art, right? Nail art supplies are like polish, there just is never enough!
I started with two coats of This Is My Tiara from Smitten Polish, a GORGEOUS silver holo glitter (you can see my review of this polish here) then topped it off with a coat of Glisten&Glow's HK Girl and let it dry for about 15 minutes. 
Then I used the Regular Straight Nail Guides from Whats Up Nail Art Store and applied Crows Toes Candied Brains on various sides and directions. 
The vinyals worked wonderfully, their adhesiveness was just right to stay in fixed position, but peeled off easily, without damaging my base. I had to reposition a couple of them, and was concerned that they might not stick as well, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't slip around after I repositioned it. 
These are really great vinyls, in my opinion, and I'm looking forward to trying out some of the other designs they have, there's so many! You should definitely check them out! 
Whats_Up_Regular_Straight_Nail_Art_Store


Cheers til next time! xoxo


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This Is My Tiara! And It's SOOOO Sparkly!



Today I have a most lovely and sparkly silver holographic polish from Smitten Polish called This Is My Tiara! This polish was inspired from Amy in the TV series, The Big Bang Theory. 
Source: Butterflies' Corner
I'm pretty sure the expressions on her face accurately reflect all glitter polish lovers worldwide! I know it surely did mine when I put this amazing polish on!
I decided to use an undie with TIMT, only because I was needing some instant gratification with glitter and didn't want to take the time to experiment how many coats it would take to have full coverage, I'll do a review on that aspect of this polish another time. 
I started with one thin coat of Nimbus, which is also from Smitten Polish (review on that to follow later), allowed that to dry for about 15 minutes, and started in with a regular coat of This Is My Tiara!
The formula is wonderful, with an excellent amount of glitter on the brush each time it's pulled out - not too much to make it chunky, not too little to required multiple coats, and I was able to achieve coverage in two coats. I was really surprised with clean up, glitters are such a pain to clean up, but these glitters came off really well with my brush and acetone. 
I got to play with my new Otto light for this picture, so I would attribute this photo as being what the polish would look like in sunlight. Don't let that disappoint you, it's just as beautiful in natural light.

Smitten Polish has definitely made this polish one of a kind, and a must have for any glitter lover. 
You should definitely check them out! You purchase their polish at, Smitten Polish on Big Cartel and peek at others who are smitten with their Smittens on  Facebook and Instagram, along with restocks and previews of upcoming products. 

Cheers til next time! xoxo


Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Nails - Born Pretty Nail Decals



Happy Halloween everyone!
Well it looks like my scheduled posts have gone awry, so this Halloween mani is a bit behind the curve. 
Today I have some Halloween water decals sent from Born Pretty Store for review. I've tried a few other decals from them before and these have been just as fun and easy to work with as the previous ones. 
They're pretty simple to work with. They are small enough that you can cut them out from the sheet and use the ones that you want, then simply peel off the clear protective layer over the top of the decals and either dip them into a glass of water or you can take a cotton ball and soak the paper with water. You want to make sure that you soak the decal adequately for it to loosen from the backing, I would estimate about 30 to 40 seconds for the decal to become loose, then you can take a pair of fine nose tweezers and remove the decal from the paper and apply to your nail. Placement can be a little bit tricky, as they tend to want to stick with where they initially make contact with the nail, but the good thing to this is the decals aren't usually very big and so you can kind of gauge where you want to set them before actually placing them on the nail. 
One of the things I like best about these decals is that they respond very well to a variety of polishes and they react well to top coats. I didn't get any sliding when I apply the topcoat and there was no wrinkling or bubbles.
The decals you see here are over a OOAK from Polish Addict which turned out to be a fabulous fall/Halloween polish. 

born_pretty_halloween_waterdecals

These decals are a lot of fun. And Born Pretty has a large selection to choose from, pretty much any kind of decal for any occasion or theme that you could think of. The best part is you can usually find them on sale for around $.99 apiece. 
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween! Be sure to eat lots of candy and trick-or-treat safely!! 
Cheers until next time! Xoxo



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ellison's Organics - Bigger On The Inside

**I'm having trouble replying to comments left on my blog. I'm not sure what's going on or what I'm doing wrong, but I do read all your comments and I'm so sorry that I haven't been able to reply!**


Purchased by Me

Today I have a lovely royal blue jelly polish inspired by Doctor Who from Ellison's Organics, LLC called Bigger On The Inside from the Doctor Who inspired collection. And oh boy is it ever! 
This photo features my Cinderella hand with two coats of Bigger On The Inside, with another Ellison's Organics polish called Cast Your Care-ibbeans Away (more on that polish later) on my ring finger, also two coats. I used Poshe top coat, as I feel it does the best job for jelly-like polishes. The formula was smooth and easy to apply, and dried quickly. 
This was my palette for Doctor Who inspired nail art. 

And back to my regular hand for this photo :-) My ring finger features the TARDIS which I made as a nail decal. I first took a plastic ziplock bag and painted a coat Simply Quick Top Coat from Nail HQ Bliss Kiss, then a coat of Cast Your Care-ibbeans Away. I used a black fine tipped Sharpie to free hand the TARDIS, then filled it in with Bigger On The Inside and white acrylic paint to brighten the windows. I sealed it with another coat of top coat, waited about 20 minutes for it to set up, then used the top coat over my nail to apply the decal and added a final top coat to seal it all together. 
I'm really impressed with how easy Bigger On The Inside was to use for the nail decal. I don't usually use polish anymore since I got hooked on acrylic paint to do art, but BOTI accepted that challenge with flying colors. 
The stamping on the rest of my nails is Handy Nail Art Polish in white and gold from Moon Nails Supply. The stars in white are Pueen 60 from Pueen 2014 Buffet Plate from Amazon.com and the gold swirls are Nail Craze NC02.  
Ellison's Organics can be found on EtsyFacebook Twitter, and Ellison's Organics Blog. There's also a Newsletter Sign Up which I highly recommend if you'd like to keep your eyes out for updates. 
She's got some other fabulous polishes, including more from her Doctor Who inspired collection, plus other beauty products such as soap, bath salts, salves, and lip balms. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coffee Break

Today, my friends, I'm taking a break from polish for this post to write about another love of mine...coffee!!!
If you've been reading my blog for very long, you'll know that I participate on a website called Influenster which gives members a chance to fill out survey's which can potentially lead to participating in product testing and reviews. I've been a member for about 2 years now, and have received some really great products such as an Avon facial care product from the TLC VoxBox, a new Pilot Rollerball ink pen and NYC Lipcolor from the Uni VoxBox, and one of Colgate's teeth whitening systems in the Optic White VoxBox.
Today's review, courtesy of Influenster, is a new Keurig 2.0 model K550 which was provided by Influenster for free, to test and review.
And here is my lovely new gizmo.
<img src="filename.gif" alt="Keurig 2.0 K550">
On to the review - it's a long one, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and take a peek. 

Pros:
Attractive Mouthfeel/Body, Smooth Taste, Balanced Acidity, Exceptional/Interesting Flavor, Pleasing Aroma, Pleasing Roast, One Cup Brewing, Carafe Option, Not Bitter, Brews Quickly
Cons:
Unnecessary Features, Limits Coffee Selection, No Reusable Coffee Filter
   General Overview: The machine is beautiful, and so far brews coffee with the same level of quality as the previous two models I've owned over the past 6 years. It has a digital touch screen face, and the screen is large enough that it's user friendly but isn't obnoxious. 

Carafe: The carafe option to brew between 2-4 cups is great and long overdue, ideal for situations where you want more than one without having to get up to make another, or guests and don't want to brew individual cups. The carafe included in the box fits nicely against the main unit, and the larger k-cups meant for the carafe are used in the same fashion as their regular, one-cup counterparts. It brewed quickly and quietly, though the carafe I received isn't stainless steel, and didn't hold the heat of the coffee in it for very long, even when I 'primed' by letting it set for about 15 minutes with hot water in it.

Fun Features:I think the additional features (bells and whistles) such as choosing a screen saver, the color selection for the water reservoir may be fun, but in my opinion unnecessary.

  Using K-Cups: This Keurig has a digital reading method to brew, and this means that it scans the top of the coffee pod to activate the hot water brew, it no longer works by just popping the k-cup in and press "Brew" button. Unfortunately, this means that if your k-cup of choice doesn't have the Keurig seal of approval on it, the 2.0 won't brew it. 
The DRM style restrictions on the 'authorized k-cup' brands is a disappointing feature. Also gone is the Keurig reusable filter, and after speaking with Keurig's Customer Service, they have confirmed that there is no plans to make a reusable filter for this model because "it's not compatible with the digital technology for this system." Hmmm. While I'm not a digital tech, that doesn't really sound logical to me, but whatever. 
 My family and I enjoy several of the 'authorized' brands, but also enjoy a few others outside of the plastic k-cup styles, that we switch back and forth with, which will now not be permitted in the 2.0. Continued use of the 2.0 will ultimately depend on how affordable the 'authorized' brands stay. The limitation will probably not affect me too much, again depending on affordability of the coffee brands allowed. However, I do think that this will hinder Keurig's image and ability to continue to reach a broad consumer base. Consumers who choose not to use the 'authorized' brands will most likely either choose an older model Keurig, or select a different personal brewing system brand.
Bottom Line: While I will continue to recommend the Keurig brand, based on my positive experiences with the older models, and so far this 2.0, I will definitely ensure my listener(s)/readers know about the restrictions on the 2.0 to 'authorized k-cup' brands. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Daily Hues Lacquer, beautiful CeCe

I have been fortunate enough to meet some really amazing people in my local polish Facebook group, and even more fortunate (or not so fortunate for my wallet) is that some of those awesome peeps are indie polish makers.
In this post, I'm very pleased to show you a polish from Jenn, who is one of those awesome peoples, at Daily Hues Nail Lacquer. This beautiful, deep blue polish is CeCe.
CeCe-Daily-Hues-Nail-Lacquer-Blue-Holo

CeCe has a wonderful formula, easy to apply and the dry time is great. It is a little sheer, so my photo features three regular coats, with a top coat of Glisten & Glow's HK Girl. You all know my affinity for blue nail polish, so this one was really a must-have no-brainer for me. :-) 
And because ALL holographics belong in the sun, here ya go! 
CeCe-Blue-Holo-Sunlight

You can also find Daily Hues Nail Lacquer on Facebook , TwitterInstagram, and Jenn's blog at Nail Art Jenn. She's got a beautiful selection of polishes, and for Seahawks fans - yes, yes she has your 13thMan colors, giving you yet another reason to go check our her shop!

Happy Weekend everyone! xoxo

These products were purchased by me for personal use and enjoyment. I was not compensated in any manner for this review and all opinions are formed from my personal experience. My experience with these polishes/products are unique and may not be shared by other consumers. Applications vary from person to person along with the products used in conjunction with this product. 



Monday, August 25, 2014

Drunk On Holo...In Pub-lick!

If you are a Ron White fan, y'all already know what I'm talking about and probably read the title hearing his voice. If you're not - seriously, you need to YouTube it! :-)
Original Photo Source
Today, I have a different kind of drunk - Drunk on Holo and Holo Wasted from Painted Polish by Lexi. I got turned onto this brand by a lovely friend in my local polish group (thanks and curse you, Heather ;-) ) 
and I haven't been disappointed with either of these purchases. 
Drunk on Holo is an amazing silver holo - here I have it with Holo Wasted - using 3 coats of polish and a top coat of Poshe. I decided not to use a color for a base coat, just to see how it would turn out, and wow I'm glad I did, though I'm excited to see it used with some other polishes as a topper. 
Drunk-on-Holo
 Here is a macro of Drunk on Holo - and as you can see the holo looks so much thinner here, but you really can't tell unless you examine your fingers carefully.
Painted-Polish-by-Lexi

And here is a macro of Holo Wasted. 
Painted-Polish-by-Lexi
Blue holo!! Need I say more? No, I'm pretty sure it speaks for itself. 

Nail-Art-With-Painted-Polish-by-Lexi
I decided to have some fun with my new sharpies and out line the triangles I made - I think it turned out kinda cool! 
The formula for these polishes were nice - there was plenty of holo on the brush each time I dipped it in, though as with polishes of this style, it does take a few coats to make it opaque - or at least give it the appearance that it's opaque to the general eye. It seemed to dry a little slow to me, however, it could be my coats were too thick, being greedy with the holo. But after a top coat of Poshe, it took about 15 minutes to dry to the touch enough for me to use scotch tape to make the triangles. The triangles took 2 coats and set up nicely - no 'spilling over' after I removed the tape right after the second coat and I was good to go with another coat of Poshe. I was also pleased at how long this polish lasted on my nails - I wore it for about a 4 days and I didn't have any noticeable tip wear, shrinkage or peeling. 
You can find updates on stock and restocks on Painted Polish by Lexi on her Facebook Page and Instagram Feed

Happy Monday everyone! xoxo

These products were purchased by me for personal use and enjoyment. I was not compensated in any manner for this review and all opinions are formed from my personal experience. My experience with these polishes/products are unique and may not be shared by other consumers. Applications vary from person to person along with the products used in conjunction with this product. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunset Manicure Nail Art

Happy Tuesday!!
Today I have some nail art inspired by Oh My Gosh! Polish on YouTube and her manicure which was a  recreation of Naildecore's Instagram Video of a sunset she painted on her hand, which is absolutely fabulous.
This is probably one of my favorite manicures, and Oh My Gosh! Polish did an amazing video tutorial - it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. My gradients need a bit more work, but I was really happy with how it turned out. I used several Sinful Colors, and acrylic paint in black. Top coat is Poshe.
Nail-Art-Acrylic-Paint
Polishes used: Sinful Colors Blue by You, Lavender, Amethyst, Boom Boom, Island Coral, Unicorn.

Hope you have a wonderful week! xoxo

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Above The Curve - Holo Happiness in a Bottle

Hello lovlies!

Today I have a review and nail art featuring the ever amazing polish of Above the Curve. These guys are probably some of my top favorite nail polish makers, hailing from my own beautiful Pacific Northwest backyard.
 I first came upon Above the Curve over a year ago and have previously reviewed Risen Angel polish which one of my first ATC polishes. I have many more I need to get posted!
But today, I have a couple from their lovely Ultra Holo selection.
This is Ultra Holo Blue, with Ultra Holo Purple on my ring finger. The color of these polishes is just amazing, so bright and "here I am!" without being obnoxious.
Above-The-Curve-Ultra-Holo-Purple
I applied two coats of each polish, both had excellent formulas. I didn't have any clumping or streaking. It does quickly, but for me, that doesn't interfere with application. My topcoat of choice for this mani is Simply Quick by Bliss Kiss which has done an excellent job of maintaining the holo effect.
Now you all know what a Bluey I am, and normally this right here would satisfy me, but I decided to mix it up a bit and do some art with these polishes. So I reached for my chevron nail vinyls from NailVinyls.com and, voila - I applied two coats of the Ultra Holo Purple over the Blue, and two coats of the Ultra Holo Blue over the Purple on my ringer finger, again with the Simply Quick top coat. 
I'm probably going to file my nails down within the next week, because they are getting a little long for my lifestyle, but I was excited to get a full three nail vinyls on my nails for this design. 
Nail-Vinyl-Chevron-design
 And, because they are holos, sunlight is really the main source that shows them off best - and I just couldn't quit looking at my nails!
Nail-Vinyl-Chevrons
Above the Curve has many more stunning polishes in their shop on Etsy, and $1 from each polish goes to the Shriner's Hospital for Children. International stockists are Overall Beauty and Pshiiit Boutique
You can also interact with Above The Curve on Facebook, they have fun giveaways and blog link ups! 

These products were purchased by me for personal use and enjoyment. I was not compensated in any manner for this review and all opinions are formed from my personal experience. My experience with these polishes/products are unique and may not be shared by other consumers. Applications vary from person to person along with the products used in conjunction with this product. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Honesty in Blogging

I do not consider myself a 'professional' blogger. I consider myself a blogger - that's it. I like to share my interests, specifically nail polish and art, with a few others thrown in and with any luck, a few polish addicts find my ramblings amusing. (See header -"The awkward, not so graceful, confession of a polish addict")

The reason for this long post is this, my lovelies: there has been some discussion, and flat out drama (real shocker in the nail polish world, right?!?), regarding what an honest review is and how bloggers should handle reviews. Kirby at The Mercurial Magpie and Sarah at Tunay Na Mahal have done wonderful posts on this issue. (I highly recommend their blogs) This post is mostly my opinion on the issue.

 But first...

Polish:
When it comes to polish, I've turned into an Indie Polish Snob - I LOOOVEEE them! And having worked for small businesses almost exclusively, I equally love to support indie polish makers in their endeavor to make a business out of their passion for polish.
No matter if an Indie Maker is well established or just starting out, sometimes problems just happen. It's just life, and that's just part of being in business and producing a product. Be it a bad batch of polish, a wonky brush, a defective bottle, whatever, things get messed up. It's not the end of the world, it's just a bump that can be overcome - and that goes for mainstream and indies.
I feel confident saying that a majority of the Indie Makers I have encountered and/or  worked and dealt with are committed to making sure their customers (which include bloggers too, kids - bloggers are just consumers with a blog) are happy with their product and have a great experience with their customer service. After all, it's their business, sometimes their means of income - of course they want happy customers.

Reviews vs. Promotions
For me and my blog, reviews are my opinion of my personal experiences regarding a product. From nail polish to beauty products, every day or specialty products, what I write about is my own experience - good and bad. Most of the products I review, I've purchased with my own money, sometimes on sale, and a few with a discount. I always try to be tactful about problems or issues I have with a product, but I'm going to be honest and open about what I like or don't like about it. Again, I write about my experience and my opinion of the product. Not everyone is going to have the same experiences, and that just fine.
More than likely, I'm going to review a polish based on my initial experience, right at usage after delivery, regardless of it being a good or bad, or even just a 'meh' experience. If it's a problem that I think should be fixed, such as a bad batch of polish or a bad brush, I'm definitely going to reach out to the Indie Maker and let them know, but probably not before I review it. The exception to this is if the product is essentially unusable because of the defect/problem, then of course I can't review it and would go to the Maker first. The reason for this is - I'm a consumer. With a blog. I'm no different than any other consumer who purchased the same bottle of polish. My experience might be shared, it might not. (Let's face it, I have 'DUH' moments where it's totally not the polish, it's really just me and my clumsiness/ignorance).
 However, I'm also going to tell you when an issue has been rectified, because to me, that's as important as the issue or problem itself.  I'm far more likely to support and recommend a product/brand that takes responsibility for an issue or problem and makes it right. Who wouldn't?!? That's a key attribute for any business, to identify and work through problems to achieve positive results. That's a brand/business/product I'm proud to support.

Promotions are completely different than reviews, in my opinion. If I've agreed to promote a product, then protocol for me is to test it out, get back to the Indie Maker if there's any problems, and then post a promotional review. Promotional reviews may or may not be something you've paid for - that's between you and the Indie Maker. But to me, a promotional review/post is that I'm promoting the product on behalf of the business/brand in order for them to gain exposure, and as such, I would want to post a good review. Again, after having worked out any potential issues.

Regarding negative comments on blogs - again, that's up to individual preferences, and frankly I don't blame anyone for deleting rude and nasty comments. I am happy to have comments that disagree with an experience or a product - but if you get nasty or hateful, don't be shocked at the responses, either from me or other readers. My only promise is that you're not going to get an emotionally charged response from me. You will, however, are most likely going to get beaten at your own game with logic, facts, and probably your own words used against you. So think carefully about what you want to say. ;-)

In conclusion - I apply honesty (with tactfulness) in my reviews of products. You're going to get the good, the bad, and the ugly here, kiddos. That's just how I roll. It wouldn't be my blog if I did it another persons way.

Honest Blogger
Courtesy of Tunay Na Mahal

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ruby White Tips with Stamping and Sharpie Art

Today I have something a little odd, but fun. I had been hearing about using markers/Sharpies for nail art, but I hadn't given much thought to it - until I stumbled onto a great deal from Staples. I found an advertisement (on Facebook, no doubt) for a 24 pack of multi-colored ultra fine point and fine point Sharpies for $10 each. At that price, I knew if I didn't like them or they didn't work, I had at least scored for my daughter's art supplies. That's what I call a win-win!

This nail artwork features polishes from Ruby White Tips in Lunatic (GITD fuchsia) stamped with green from Mundo De Unas and Bat Pack #3 (baby pink with multi-glitter) stamped in Sinful Colors Back on Black and filled in with a lavender and fuchsia Sharpie, under a lovely coat of Suspended Prisms from Ruby White Tips. Stamping plate is #72 Pueen 2014 Set 24B Stamping Buffet from Amazon
The sharpies did pretty good and were definitely more opaque than sheer jellies that I have used for lead lighting.  The ultra fine point was almost too small for this kind of stamp, though I feel like they will work nicely for detailed stamp fill-ins. My next challenge is to work on shading the stamps with the Sharpies. 
One trick I figured out, is that it's good to have a paper town handy, to dab the Sharpie on from time to time as the top coat was occasionally a bit slick. Dabbing it on the paper towel seemed to help draw the color back to the Sharpie tip and continue the application easily.
I did top coat the base polish before I stamped with Poshe, but then I applied the sharpie color directly within the stamp. Take care when you try this because the sharpie can scratch the stamped image. 

The glow in the dark feature was epic, but apparently I either didn't get a photo, or it got deleted. :-( 

I'm excited to try the fine point Sharpies now, they have a lot of nail art potential! 
Happy Monday everyone! xoxo

The Ruby White Tips polishes were sent to me at no charge for review and swatch photographs to be used by the owner of Ruby White Tips for marketing purposes. My opinion of the polishes is my own, based on personal experience, and may not be shared by other consumers. I received no compensation for review or photographs, other than the polishes sent to me for review and photographing.
 The Sharpie products were purchased by me for personal use and enjoyment. I was not compensated in any manner for this review and all opinions are formed from my personal experience, nor am I affiliated with the brand Sharpie or Staples. My experience with these polishes/products are unique and may not be shared by other consumers. Applications vary from person to person along with the products used in conjunction with this product. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Serious, Very Serious... from Sweetheart Polish and Literary Lacquer

I came upon a beautiful swatch on Instagram of a new-to-me indie brand called Sweethart Polish, who had teamed up with Literary Lacquer to offer a beautiful blue holo and purple glitter duo. Holo and glitter?? Yes please and thank you! :-)
This is Serious, a beautiful blue holo bySweetheart  Polish and Very Serious, an equally stunning purple glitter/holo by Literary Lacquers. Serious applies like a dream, no clumping or streaks and dries well. The picture here features two coats of Serious, and I used one coat of Literary Lacquers Very Serious over Serious on my ring finger, and Simply Quick Top Coat . As you can see, the two go amazingly together - I'm excited to see how Very Serious does on it's own, I think it will be an easy 2 coater.
Literary-Lacquers-Very-Serious
 And the sun was out, so duh, I had to have a sunlight shot! Look at those babies go!!
Literary-Lacquers-Very-Serious-Sunlight

I can most assuredly say that Serious will not be my only Sweetheart Polish, I will be hard pressed to stay away with polish like this. I'm also fairly sure I will not be able to resist some more Literary Lacquer polishes either! Stay tuned for a review of Very Serious in full effect!
Happy Monday everyone! xoxo

Monday, July 21, 2014

Maybelline Summer 2014 Bleached Neons, and MoYou London Stamping

Happy Monday everyone!


I have a lovely stamped gradient today with the Maybelline Summer 2014 Bleached Neon set, which was given to me by my lovely friend Tracy, who is in my local Facebook polish group. I totally missed the train on this set when they were out, and Tracy was so sweet to send them to me! This happened to be excellent timing as my new MoYou Bridal Plates had come in the day before - so naturally I had to use them together!
The Maybelline polishes are, from left to right: Citrus Collide, Bleached in Peach, Coral Heat, Pink Punch, Ultra Violet, Lime Accent, and Day Glow Teal.
Maybelline-Bleached-Neons

To start my gradient, I used a base coat of Cult Nails Tempest, which is in my opinion, one of the best whites to be had.
Cult Nails Tempest

Then I tried out the glue method for reduced clean up around my cuticles and finger, and used a latex-free makeup sponge to apply the gradient effect. I was really happy with the glue, it definitely helped cut down on clean up time and was easily removed. 
Glue-method-clean-up

This is after a complete clean up. 
Gradient-Clean-Up

I almost stopped there. I mean, common, how awesome are those colors!?!? Tracy wasn't kidding when she said this was one of her favorite sets, I'm pretty sure they're going to be mine too!
But, my MoYou plates called to me, and I couldn't ignore their songs!
Let me pause right here and give a HUGE thank you to Beaching Nails who is my stamping superhero. Thanks to her video on YouTube, How to pick the Perfect Stamper for you I was able to figure out which stamper I work best with, and also a new way for me to stamp. Instead of rolling like I usually do, I decided to use my marshmallow stamper and apply my nail to stamper and press down that way. Let me tell you, it was a nail stamping life changer for me, kids. Hands down this is my best 'most consistent' and 'lined up' stamping attempt for me yet. Not gonna lie, I totally squealed when it worked out. 
The plate is Bridal 06 and the stamping polish is Sinful Colors Back in Black. 

I still need lots of practice, but my stamping came out really well for me, especially on my left hand (which of course I forgot to photograph). 
I topped this off with a few dabs of Wingdust's Dancing Queen and Poshe topcoat. 
So yeah, this mani's pretty much made my whole week! 










Thursday, July 10, 2014

Red Carpet Gel Polish Application

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to share something a little different. Now I love nail polish and nail art, and I typically change my mani a few times a week (depending on my school/work/home life and schedule) but I've always had fairly weak nails. I'd get them to the length I love, and inevitably something would happen that would leave me with shorties again. Then I met a fabulous lady, Ana, on a local polish Facebook group who was the creator of Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil. The Bliss Kiss alone has been a nail life changer, and better yet, Ana's site, NailCareHQ is positively jam packed with info on nail care and health. After reading many of the articles on NailCareHQ and applying a great deal of the advice from Ana, I decided to try gel polish, and put to use Ana's article for Fab Five Polish Wrap technique and gel polish removal. Since I've started using gel, I'm able to keep my nails as long as I want them for the most part, and they've held up pretty well against all the abuse I tend to put them through. The removal process seems to me, to be the key to using gel polish successfully with healthy nails.
 I started using Red Carpet Gel Polish a few months ago to see if it would improve the overall strength of my nails. But don't mistake my meaning for 'strength' as using gel as a nail strengthener, (Ana has an article on that too), but rather using as topical 'armour' for my ails. My nails having been growing faster and longer since I've learned how to take better care of them, but I'm also kind of rough on them, so they still break and chip from time to time. Being a do-it-myself kinda gal with an ego that usually drives me not to wait for my hubby to fix/do/repair something (and sometimes my pride just gets the better of me and I'm determined to do it to prove I can = ego), I'm constantly knocking or bumping them or manage to get them snagged on something that results in some kind of breakage.
I've tried about 3 different kinds of gel polish products, KISS, Sensationail and Red Carpet - so far, I found that Red Carpet is the best for me, with Sensationail a very close second. Removal is faster with Sensationail, however, I feel that Red Carpet holds up better against my abuse. I'm also still able to change my polish/art a few times a week without having to reapply the gel each time. Usually it lasts about 10 days for me, and I usually remove it by then because my nails have grown out enough that the gel line bothers me. Yes, the application takes longer than just applying non-gel polish, but for me, the extra time once every 10 days or so is completely worth it.
Here is a video on the application process that I do, it's pretty much just the manufacturer's instructions, minus the color polish application, with a few of my own tips/tricks thrown in. I'll have a video up on removal another time.
Have a great day everyone!!



These products were purchased by me for personal use and enjoyment. I was not compensated in any manner for this review and all opinions are formed from my personal experience. My experience with these polishes/products are unique and may not be shared by other consumers. Applications vary from person to person along with the products used in conjunction with this product. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July Manicure - Independence Day Mani InLinkz

Happy Independance Day!!!

Today is the day that we celebrate the Declaration of Independence of the United States. The U.S. Congress had actually adopted the document on July 2nd, but the final, revised version was adopted and signed on July 4th.
This final draft of the momentous political statement declared that the U.S. would not longer abide by the unjust rule of King George III.
For 8 long years after that day in Congress, our country fought tenaciously for the right to be free. Subject against crown, friend against friend, and family against family; these men and women drew lines in their loyalties, breaking all bonds of old to forge a new home and government that would honor their mutual beliefs and foundations. And today, we enjoy the rewards of their sacrifice and perseverance.

My mostly Independent polish, 4th of July manicure. (on my Cinderella hand, no less!)

I used one coat of Snow Me White over all my fingers, then applied one coat of Evil Queen on my ring finger, one coat of Sting on my middle then stamped that with SMW and Pueen Buffet plate #60 and used the MDU stamping polishes on my thumb's and pinkies. Then I applied another coat of Sting over the stamping and stamped it again with the same polish and plate. I made the red and white stripes over opposing colors by cannibalizing some of my half empty NailVinyls outskirts and turning them into straight line guides. Everything is topped off with a coat of Poshe topcoat. 
I did a better job of offsetting the stamping layer on my left hand. 

The Star-Spangled Banner
Francis Scott Key
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Happy 4th everyone! Be safe and hope you have a wonderful weekend!! Don't forget to check out the amazing manis in the links!