Sunday, April 29, 2012

NOTD Apr 29/12 - blue and purple glitter

I have several glitter polishes that I am embarrassed to admit, I've either only used once or NEVER used at all. It seemed like a bit of a travesty to me, so I knew I had to use one of them finally! This one was a great first candidate, I absolutely love it! It's Icing's Bedazzled... tiny blue and purple micro-glitter. This one would take a lot of layering to be opaque, but it looks fantastic layered! I put it over Essence Let's Get Lost, a rich teal shade. This is two coats of each polish - I'm in love with it! So sparkly and deep and rich!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NOTD Apr 24/12 - blue and white micro-dots

Today my nail art came by pretty much fluke... picked a colour to paint my nails (Essence Walk On Air) and then I originally intended to try doing tiny dotted pinstripes on my nails and add some kind of floral on top, but the dots turned out looking less like pinstripes and more like.. well.. dots!! So I left them as they were because I really liked the way they ended up looking on their own! Sometimes simplicity wins. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Birthday NOTD, FOTD, and OOTD!

Yup that's right I have a triple threat for you today, on my birthday!! Going to be having a party at a friend's house tonight so I'm all ready to go, and I'm going to be going for a pampering pedicure in around an hour! Can't wait!

First up, my NOTD! I loved this design everytime I saw it (in many places!) and I decided to try it out! I like how it turned out! I wasn't going to do the glitter topcoat but once I finished the rest of the design it seemed to need it!

Next is my FOTD! I've been tanning with the amazingly awesome St.Tropez Mousse Bronzer and I wanted something bronzey and glowy to compliment it.

Main components in this look were L'Oreal Color Infaillable eyeshadow in Sahara Treasure, along with Urban Decay Smog and Darkhorse. The cheeks were Essence Silky Touch Blush in Babydoll and a new highlighter I got in the latest Sephora 500 point perk, which is Too Faced Shimmer Veil. 

PS - the new 500 point perk is AWESOME! I've been holding off redeeming mine for months because I didn't like anything they were offering, and MAN am I glad I did! It's the Too Faced Naked Look mini palette - it has two eyeshadows (Pink Cheeks and Lap Dance), a blush (but I think it's more like a highlighter, called Shimmer Veil like I said...) and two lip glosses called Air Kiss and Pink Swan. Normally I'm not huge on in-palette glosses but these two blended together are sooo gorgeous, I'll just make sure to blow away all the powder fallout so it doesn't get in these beauties! I'm also wearing them in the pic. :)

Last but not least, my outfit for today! I bought this gorgeous coral sheer button-down top from Dynamite last week and saved it for today because I loved it so much! Worn over a lace trimmed low-cut black tank top and simple black leggings, and with a simple long gold chain! I'm also wearing silver metallic braided sandals with it - booyah for mixed metals!

Have a great weekend all! I'm off to celebrate the big 24!!

A nail polish survey!

 So I'm the kind of losery-loser who actually Googles "nail polish survey" to find something to do. No, I didn't stumble across this on a blog - I actually sought it out! LOL But here we are, I had fun filling this out!! Hope you enjoy reading!

How many polishes do you have in your stash?
Last time I counted it was at juuust under 99 (including 2-way nail art polishes) so I can safely say by now I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 115-125.

Which brand do you own the most of?
I would guess probably Sally Hansen, especially since they have so many different lines of polishes!

What colors do you own the most of?
Pinks and blues.

Do you have a color/texture you do not own?
Holographic! I don't own a single one even though they're so trendy!

What's the one polish you always pick up to lift your spirits?
Something sparkly, I really like to top almost anything with LA Girl Glitter Addict in Explosion - big silver hex glitter with small speck silver glitter.

What polish do you keep looking at and wondering why you haven't gotten rid of it yet?
There's a couple, mostly ones that were all thick and gummy and almost empty, to the point where even if I fixed them with thinner I can barely get the brush to touch the polish, and then I buy a new bottle of the same shade but still don't throw out the old bottle. Sad to say this is the case for a few shades! Finally ditched one the other day but it was only a start...

Franken any? or I'm nervous to try it?
Not yet... I guess it sounds intriquing but I'm not yet bored enough with the polishes I have to try to create new ones!

Do you franken for new/original polish ideas or franken for polish you won't be able to own?
If I did franken I would probably try to create new shades - I might try to recreate a HTF if some really obvious mix popped out at me though.

Go-to Base Coat?
Sally Hansen one... Insta-something LOL I don't look at it that closely! It's in a clear bottle with a red cap.

Go-to Top Coat?
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Topcoat. I've never used Seche but from what I've read about it, it sounds exactly like this stuff but the SH is cheaper.

What's your sexiest polish?
Hmmm I don't know really!! I think my personal definition of sexy is a little different... I don't know if I would pick any of my polishes off the top of my head but when I think of "sexy" polish I think of a bright (but not neon) pinkish-coral shade contrasting tanned skin, I love the look of that. So, yeah! :p

Nail Design:

Stamping vs Free Hand?
Free hand! At one time I badly wanted to get a Konad kit but as time has worn on I'm kind of glad I didn't, I prefer the freedom of creativity you have with freehand art and the satisfaction you get from executing a design well and seeing your skills improve over time!

Bling me, baby? or No bling for me, please!
Bling is fun!! I've got some rhinestones and plenty of glitter polishes! Next to creme, glitter is my favourite polish finish!

I consider my nails basically nekkid if they don' t have some kind of design?
Most of the time! LOL Yesterday was the first day I'd worn a solid nail colour in probably about 9 months! I think I want to get into the habit more often though... I'd like to rotate nail art and plain polish, since I do have so many lovely shades that should get to shine on their own!

My favorite plate/tool/technique?
My favourite technique would have to be glitter gradients, leopard (FYI - I based my most recent incarnations of freehand leopard print on what the Konad leopard print looks like! It's so easy, try it!!) and sponge gradients. I'm not interested in water marbling personally!

What I haven't tried and want to within the month?
Oooh good one!! I make no promises about how soon I will actually try these but I have aspirations for tape nail art - I did actually try it once, disaaaster! I learned to let a day pass between polishes just to be on the safe side!


The one elusive polish you want and can't seem to get?
GOSH Holographic - I guess I figure if I'm gonna try the trend I want to start with the original! But goood luck! LOL

What was the last nail related thing you bought?
I bought a new bottle of top coat today.

How many nail related hauls have you bought in the last 7 days (on-line/in-person)?
Just that one actually!

If you've ever been on a no-buy, how long did it last? Is that what you planned?
LOLwut? (read: nope!)

(and one question to grow on) Hobby? Addiction? Compulsion? Passing Fancy? Love?
Hobby for sure, addiction aaalmost (I can sometimes restrain myself quite well). Love, yes!! It's lovely to have something that's a creative outlet for me that I can carry with me everywhere and share with everyone I meet!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NOTD Apr 17/12 - lime green leopard

Really simple design here but one of my favourites - leopard print on nails is just my weakness! I had to try out one of my new Cherimoya polishes and I knew this would be the perfect background for a leopard print.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Etsy sale :)

Just wanted to add a quick note that until this Friday only, there is a sale at my Etsy shop for 10% off because Friday will be my birthday! Wanted to spread the fun around! Find the coupon code in the description of my shop and use it to get your discount this week!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

NOTD Apr 15/12 - green and gold half moons

These nails came together really quickly - I just wanted to use one of my new Barielle polishes, Date Night! I painted my nails with it and did the ring fingers in Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Gilty Pleasure, and then painted half moons with the opposite colours. I just used a paint brush to create the halfmoons, it was actually easier than I thought it would be! I'd like to get some of the little round hole-repair stickers to try out this design a bit more though.

 You may notice this is my rarely seen right hand! I broke the pinky nail on my left hand and it is the tiniest little nubbin, right down to the quick. :( While I wait for that to regrow you may be seeing more of righty here!

Date Night was a dream to apply, the polish was a perfect texture, two easy coats. It looks even more gorgeous in real life!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NOTD Apr 12/12 - khaki and gold glitter

Just a really simple mani today, I took off my acrylics last night so I wanted to do something very simple and quick on my nails. I did a couple coats of my new Essence polish High Spirits, which is so pretty!! Very subtly shimmery khaki green! Then I added a couple coats of LA Girl Glitter Addict in Synergy. Technically, it was 1.5 coats... one full coat and then I fished out and dabbed on some more of the hex pieces because they're few and far between in the glitter. Lovely colour but that's my only gripe about it... the silver glitter from their line is PACKED with hex glitter so I don't know why this one isn't when it seems to be the gold equivalent!

Monday, April 09, 2012

NOTD Apr 9/12 - Russian Opulence (Jewel Encrusted)

These nails kind of came together without any plan.. I just kept adding elements until they looked finished to me. When all was said and done, they had kind of a Russian opulence feel to them, all sparkly and covered in rhinestones. Obviously, these were made on a set of falsies!

I feel very fabulous wearing these!

Rhinestones were generously provided from Born Pretty store!

Friday, April 06, 2012

NOTD Apr 6/12 - Matte glitter

I wanted to test out a couple of newbies in my collection for this mani! I used one of my new Barielle polishes, Do Unto Others, for the base. I also picked up my very first matte topcoat today - finally!! I couldn't find one anywhere, and then finally I saw one by Gosh in Shoppers Drug Mart and I snapped it up! I've always liked the look of matte glitter manicures, so I gave it a shot and I love it!

Under the bright light I took the picture in the manicure looks a little shinier, in real life it's even more matte than this! I really love this look and I definitely want to try out other colour combos for it! I love how soft matte topcoat makes your nails feel too, so cool!

Colours used:
Barielle in Do Unto Others
LA Girl Glitter Addict in Explosion
GOSH Matt Effect Top Coat

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Cherimoya and Barielle polish hauls, NOTD Apr 5/12

I got several new polishes this week to show off for you here! The first two I got were from a random stand I saw in a shoe store, by a brand I had heard of once on a nail blog somewhere - but it's not a brand I see/hear a lot of - Cherimoya. I grabbed two shades to see how they stack up!

The shades are Melon and Mango. Melon did not photograph properly - in this picture it looks kind of minty green, but it real life it's like a neon green but just a little softer - like a pastel neon green. Very cool! I have only swatched these on an acrylic nail so far, but both covered well in two coats. Mango dries to a semi-matte finish, almost rubbery looking, kind of unexpected and cool!

My Barielle haul from HauteLook! They had a 50% off sale so all these polishes were only $4 each. I've seen a lot of bloggers who have cashed in at that sale lately! The shades I got were (clockwise from the top) Sailor's Delight, Date Night, Beaches & Dreams, Do Unto Others, Swizzle Stix, Berry Blue, Blossom, and Buddha-ful. I've swatched all of them and love them ALL, although Berry Blue seems darker than I thought it would based on the swatches I saw. But I could lighten it up by layering over white so NBD. So far I've worn a mani with Buddha-ful (green-toned flakies in a sheer nude base) over Blossom (awesome bright coral-pink shade, gonna be perfect for summer pedis!). Check it out:

Definitely excited to try out more of these - I'm about to do my nails again with another one of my new shades!

FOTD Apr 5/12 and review of Essence makeup

As promised in my Essence haul post, I did a FOTD with my new goodies! So far I'm really loving all the new stuff I got and I really just want to go get more!! The shadows applied like a dream - very pigmented and easy to blend, and the colours in the quad just go perfectly together and make it so easy to create a look. I can also see this palette being easy to take from day to night - more of the lighter shades for day, more dark shades for night. Taupe smokey eyes are HAWT!

Here's the look I created using my new products.

  • Essence Quattro Eyeshadow Palette in Over the Taupe
  • Essence Gel Eyeliner in London Baby
  • CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof in Blackest Black
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil
  •  Essence Silky Touch Blush in Babydoll
  • Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me!
The blush has a nice amount of pigmentation - it never gets too dark or bright so it's perfect for a day look, it's really hard to go overboard on this one. The lipstick has a similar pigmentation, and it's very moisturizing on the lips. It seems to have pretty good lasting power too, considering it's fairly sheer and not drying. I'm loving all these products and I wanna hit up that Essence display again ASAP!

    Tuesday, April 03, 2012

    NOTD Apr 3/12 - Blue dot gradient, Autism Awareness

    *EDIT: Just wanted to add a little note here to anyone who happened to see the lovely little note someone left on this on Tumblr... I could let it get me down and make me upset, and to be honest at first I did. People don't realize, or choose not to realize, that when you say something mean and unnecessary online, you're not just saying it to no one - there's another person getting that message. Another human being. I find it sort of incredible (and incredibly disappointing) how easily people take the license to be cruel and pointlessly mean over the internet, simply because it's anonymous. I find that kind of behaviour just as sad in real life, but on the internet it also just comes across as... cowardly.

    I do know however, that 99% of people who saw this manicure would see it for what it was meant to be - just a simple manicure that happened to be related, however loosely, to a good cause, a cause I wanted to bring attention to in some small way, and really I only tied this mani into the whole Autism Awareness thing because of Kimber's very moving blog post anyways... she had more to say about it than I ever could and I wanted to say, "I recognized that, I heard that, and I think you're very strong.", basically. That was what mattered and I don't intend to let negativity obscure that. I guess I can just finish up by saying I honestly wish a lot of future happiness for people like that... people tend to like to make those around them feel the way they do. Happy people try to spread happiness and make others happy, and miserable people... well, you get the point. The world would be better off if more people were happier, so if randomly attacking people you don't know a single thing about makes you happy.... carry on I guess.... let's see how well that works out for you.


    I did this mani last night just wanting to try out this dot gradient design, and use one of the new Essence polishes I bought. I realized after I did the mani that because of the colour, it really fits perfectly with the all of the blue Autism Awareness manicures for the month of April that have been all over the polish blogosphere recently. Now, I don't want to pretend that this was pre-planned because that wouldn't be honest - I only noticed the connection afterwards. And there isn't much I can say on the subject except that I agree, there needs to be more awareness about this, and about many, many issues. People just need to be more aware of the world around them in general - it would make this world a better place to live in.

    On the subject of Autism specifically, I want to point you to this great manicure and touching story that Kimber of Kimber's Lacquer Korner posted today, about her daughter who is on the Autism Spectrum. If anything about my manicure even unintentionally causes someone to be more aware and informed about Autism, then that's fantastic - but this woman has a true purpose and a true connection to the disorder and you should all read her story (and check out her awesome mani!).

    Anyways, without further ado this is my accidental Autism awareness manicure that I created last night. I've been wanting to try a gradient manicure with polka dots for a while - simple, but striking design.

    Colours used:
    Essence in Walk on Air
    Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Whirlwind White
    (in between colours on the gradient were mixtures of the two polishes)

    Monday, April 02, 2012

    Essence in Canada!

    I was so excited when I heard Essence was coming to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, because I had heard so many great things about their nail polishes and how inexpensive they were. I needed to run out to the drugstore for nail polish remover today, and was happily surprised by the sparkling new Essence stand in the cosmetics aisle! I'd completely forgotten to look for it and there it was!

    The prices are as good as advertised - the most expensive thing I bought was $3.99! In total I spent about $22 and I got four nail polishes, a blush, a lipstick, a gel eyeliner, and an eyeshadow quad! Impressive!! Based just on swatching alone so far (for the makeup) the quality looks really good! Take a look at the whole haul:

    Close up of the polish bottles, which are Essence Colour & Go Quick Drying Nail Polishes. Left to right, the colours are Let's Get Lost, Walk on Air, High Spirits and You Belong to Me. The first two are SO hard to photograph! Both Let's Get Lost and Walk on Air are much darker than they look here. The polish bottles are actually fairly small, only 5 ml compared to the average nail polish bottle size of 10-15 ml. Even so, the price of $1.49 is still awesome!

    Same deal with the shades in these swatches (L-R You Belong to Me, High Spirits, Walk on Air and Let's Get Lost) LGL and WoA look much darker in real life. WoA is more like a creme navy blue/marine blue cross, and LGL is a deeper, richer teal, also creme finish. High Spirits is a great khaki green shade with microshimmer, and You Belong to Me is a pretty robin's egg blue/mint shade with very, very fine microshimmer. All swatches are two coats only, so coverage is great. WoA looks very sheer after one coat but gets to full opacity after the second.

    Essence Quattro Eyeshadow in Over the Taupe - yes, taupe! Duh! What did the blog get it's name for if not for stuff like this? This looks like a gorgeous palette of cool toned taupes, every shade you need for a great eye look. The two lighter shades seem to have a little less shimmer than the darker ones, and all seem to have good pigmentation and feel soft.

     Essence Gel Eyeliner in London Baby - a cool toned dark brown liner with a bit of shimmer. Nice and dark, the kind of almost-black-but-still-brown eyeliner I've been looking for. Formula seems smooth but very soft, so be careful when you first dip your brush in there or you'll get a big ol' dent... *coughcough*. Once it's set, it LASTS! I swatched this and then washed my hands about 5 minutes later...soap, water and scrubbing hard with a towel and this swatch looked the same. Very impressed!

    Essence Silky Touch Blush in Babydoll. Very pretty pinky peach blush, satin finish. Pigmentation is great and this will probably be a fantastic everyday, no-fuss blush that works with any look.

    Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me! Very pretty coral-pink lipstick with a bit of shimmer. Goes on sheer but the colour builds nicely. I've been wearing it for the last 30 minutes or so and my lips don't feel dry at all, which is the ultimate test for me. The shade looks really natural and pretty, on my skintone just the right balance between light and dark - doesn't look to bright but doesn't wash me out either.

    I'll make sure to do a face of the day with these products ASAP - probably tomorrow! I'm so excited to try them all out!