30 June 2011

Nail Art & Born Pretty Store Review

Nail art, on a Thursday?! I know, what trickery is this!?

Sorry, sometimes i think i'm funny. Any who, YES- nail art on a Thursday. I would have put it up Monday but i had something special i was waiting on in the mail for this nail art, and I wanted to show you what polishes i got on vacation. But I promise nail art every week, so i'm delivering on that! (P.s. i know i missed color cues two weeks in a row, please don't shoot me! stuff happened.) The something special i have with today's stamping is a review!

Born Pretty Store very kindly offered to have me review some of their nail art products. I chose these adorable little crystal glitter bows! Jayce kindly sent me the Crystal White Bowknot Shape 3D Stickers. Now, I do have to clarify that these are not stickers. That doesn't make them any less adorable or useable, they just aren't self adhesive or flexible. The bows themselves are hard plastic. 

I was really excited to receive and review these because i've been wanting to try more 3D nail art lately, and I thought this would be a perfect test run! I went with a fun and funky mixed animal print design on my nails to counteract the super girly element of big sparkly bows. For my index, middle, and pinky fingers i used one coat of Wet N' Wild Wet Shine Black Creme, then stamped with Ginger & Liz Polish in Prima Donna with plate M57's zebra design. On my ring and thumb fingers I used two coats of a gray franken, then stamped with Wet N' Wild Black Creme with the leopard design from plate M57. I then used a dotting tool and filled in some of the leopard spots with Prima Donna. To finish things off i added some rhinestones and pearls to my ring fingers, and the crystal bow to my thumbs! 

I adhered the crystal bows to my nails the same way I do with rhinestones- I spread a slow drying, thickened top coat onto the dried nail, then press the decoration into the wet topcoat. Usually one swipe of SV over a patch of rhinestones holds them until i choose to take the manicure off. The longest i've had them on is five days, but i'm positive i could go much much longer without losing any rhinestones! The bows were a bit tricker, and had edges that could catch on things, so i sort of spread SV under the bow's edges and all over the places where it touched the nail so that it filled the areas that were lifted off of the nail's surface. Does that make sense? Honestly, when it dried I felt 100% certain that that bow wasn't going anywhere. And as a bonus when i put the topcoat over the bows, the sparkles in the plastic showed up even more- making them extra glittery!  

I know some of you will probably ask why i don't just use a dab of nail glue for decorations, and i'll answer you this- Every post i've seen using that method says that the rhinestones can get around two days wear without popping off. My method gets me as many days wear as I want without losing a single rhinestone! 

In conclusion, although the bows are not stickers, i'm still very pleased with the product! I've ordered from Born Pretty before, and the shipping is reliable (always takes two to four weeks to arrive), and the products i receive are in great condition. This review has just further cemented my choice to continue buying nail art supplies from Born Pretty. I hope you enjoyed my little review!

And as a bonus: If you'd like to purchase nail art supplies from the Born Pretty Store, feel free to use the discount code i've been given to pass along to my readers!

Have you purchased from Born Pretty Store before? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

A product sample was sent to me for review. All opinions are honest and my own and have not been influenced.

28 June 2011

A Creme, A Holo, A Shimmer, And A Metallic All Walk Into An Office...

Yeah.. that's the end of the joke. aka, it's non-existant. I needed a title okay?

So a lot of you have been requesting more work-friendly colors that are office safe, and a lot of you have been requesting more inexpensive polishes. I think i can make both groups happy with this post! Today i'll be showing you four office friendly neutrals from different price points. The best part? All of these colors don't require you to sacrifice fun polish! Believe it or not, you can wear that holo to work without it being a dress-code breaker. Yup, you read that right- a holo! Even if you're not holographic crazy like 90% of the nail polish blogging world, i've got something for you too. And for you girls who don't have to be polish-concious at your workplace, these are still gorgeous colors to wear anytime.

First up is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Cafe Au Lait. This is a nude polish that has a very subtle pink shimmer, but isn't very visible on the nail. If you're coloring is similar to mine, then this is your "mannequin hands" shade. If not, it's just a general nice creamy nude. Aside from the awful (imo) paddle brush that comes with these bottles, the formula was good and application was easy with three coats until the polish was opaque. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes retail for around $7.99 in my area, making this the most expensive polish of the bunch.

"A nude holographic?" That's the question i was asking myself recently at a local dusty when i came across Color Club's Love 'Em Leave 'Em. I know that Color Club has un-holo'ed previous holo polishes before, so i was surprised to find that this polish was an original version. This color isn't a linear holo, but it's a nice scattered effect that shows up well in sunlight. This is just two coats with OPI DS topcoat. Yep, two coats! In fact, this was almost a one-coater. I think i'll probably test this one out for stamping. I purchased this Color Club polish for $5.00 at a salon. I'm unaware of the retail price/ current market price of this particular polish. 

If Cafe Au Lait is your "mannequin hands" shade, chances are that Love 'Em Leave 'Em
will also be a good nude for your skin tone!

Next up is the metallic of the bunch, China Glaze's Magical, one of the polishes from the Romantique Collection. Aside from being amazing stamping polishes, this collection is full of gorgeous chrome-like colors. This collection is still also readily available through online retailers and I think that some of the collection is in the core colors of China Glaze. I'm basing this on that i bought it at ULTA from the main display. This polish cost around $6.00 at my ULTA. You can probably find it online for much cheaper though. This swatch has one coat, and although this polish is fantastic at stamping, it's a brushstrokey, frosty finish on it's own. If you're into a metallic frost look, then this polish would be right up your alley. Personally, i would probably layer a sheer polish over it, or a glitter. It really shows any flaws or ridges on the nail. Bonus though- This polish dries incredibly fast, and is dent proof in just a minute or two!

And last but certainly not least is the very affordable Essence Irreplaceable. Usually Essence polishes retail for $.99, but they seem to permanently be "on sale" at ULTA for just $.49 which makes this polish the perfect one to pick up if you're on a stricter polish budget but still want something pretty and sophisticated. This polish was two careful coats to opaque, and every bit of gold shimmer translates from bottle to nail. One downside to this polish is that when you are removing it, be prepared to have that same lovely golden shimmer all over your cuticles and fingers.

And that rounds out my office-friendly comparisons! A few cute pictures to go though- one of our furballs decided to join me while i was taking polish pictures, and she agreed to pose cutely with a polish bottle. 

I don't think i've introduced her here before, but this is my sister's cat Thusa. She's a skinny, fluffy ball of kitten energy. She certainly likes to cause trouble and it's impossible to stay mad at her when she gives you her 'cute face' (if you have cats, you know what face i'm talking about!). And since some of you will probably ask, she lost her eye before my sister adopted her due to an infection. But even with just one eye she's still the most fearless and adventurous cat we've ever had. 

Do you think these polishes are "work friendly"? Do you like this breakdown of swatches and price points? Thanks for reading!

27 June 2011

Epic Vacation Haul + Giveaway News

I'm home from vacation, finally! Sadly it wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped, but it was still a good time none the less. The best part? Dusty hunting in a new city! Yep, even on vacation I try to scope out local salons and suppliers to try to get my polish fix. I had some awesome luck at one salon in particular, but i also had some great scores at Dollar Tree and CVS (we don't have CVS's where I live!). A lot of you suggested that I show more of my hauls, so i'll try to keep track of them so I can show you what i've been purchasing.

L.A. Colors Stripers. Left to right: Red Glitter, Magenta, Black, Blue Glitter (2x), Gold Glitter

L.A. Colors Nail Dazzling Kits. Left to right: Beauty Bliss, After Party, Picture Perfect. These are kits that come with one mini sized polish and two loose glitter colors- aka, frankening kits!

Wet N' Wild Megalast in Garden Hose, Cherry Blossom, and Sunburst

Revlon Royal and Wet N' Wild Fast Dry Atlantis

I picked up these polishes for some more frankening supplies! Sally Hansen Ice Queen, Dahlia, Pixel Pretty, Rock Candy. Confetti Tiara (x3).

We stopped by a Tuesday Morning and i was lucky enough to find two Nicole By OPI Nic's Sticks in Silver-Ella. No Rainbow's End though ):

And then i went to a salon and found a TON of OPI goodies! OPI I'd Like To Thank, This Little Piggy..., I Lilly Love You, Berry Good Dancers.

OPI Movin' Out, My Big Break, Canadian Maple Leaf, Catherine The Grape

OPI Banana Bandana, Sea Ya Later, Sailor!, At Your Quebec And Call, Sugarplum Yum

And probably my biggest score, OPI DS Original (x3!!), and DS Sapphire (x2!!). I picked up one bottle of each for myself, and the others are to spread the love by swapping them :)

The man at the salon where i hauled the OPIs was extremely nice, friendly, and helpful. I got everything for under retail, and i got all the DS polishes for just $8 each, brand new. I didn't completely wipe out the selection though, so if you live in the Knoxville, Tennessee area and are looking for OPI DS Original or DS Sapphire, feel free to shoot me a message on MUA or an email and i'll send you the location and name of the salon!

Second order of business is my giveaway! As you know, it ended, and i went on vacation. Over my vacation i took some time here and there to organize and verify entries, and although i still have a little left to do (so don't remove info from your sidebars, ect!), I'll be announcing the winner of my giveaway this week. Thank you so much for your patience, and Thanks for reading!

21 June 2011

China Glaze 108 Degrees

So quick posts this week gals! I'm on vacation so i'm getting in posting when i have some free time, and post length will vary but i'll be sure to give you all the details you want about the polishes i show you.

I know you've seen swatches of this polish already a bunch, but it's so insanely gorgeous that i'm going to make you suffer through another post about it! As you all probably well know, i'm not a pink polish kind of gal. But within the first few coats of China Glaze 108 Degrees I was in love! This polish is an easy two coater, but you'd probably need three to eliminate absolutely all visible nail line. And holy macaroni, is this polish pretty. Even just looking at the pictures of it you can see how stunning it is with the glass fleck finish and purple fuchsia shimmer.

This polish has definitely made it into my top ten summer polish picks, and i can't wait to try layering it! I definitely want to pick up the majority of the rest of this collection, including Cha Cha Cha, Senorita Bonita, and Blue Iguana

Did you purchase any of China Glaze's summer collection? Have you tried 108 Degrees? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

China Glaze nail polishes can be purchased from various beauty e-tailers, Amazon, and ebay, along with beauty supplies or salons in most areas. US retail price for China Glaze polishes is around $5.00. 108 Degrees is from the Island Escape Collection. Availability depends on where you purchase and stock in your area.

20 June 2011

Mani + Pedi Monday

Okay, so before i even start talking about nails, i want to issue a little warning. There are pictures of feet in this post. Okay, i just laughed while i was typing that. But i'm serious! This is probably going to be a one-time thing here on L.I.L, but i personally think feet are kinda weird and want to warn anyone who isn't comfortable with these kinds of posts. To appease those of you who don't want to view today's toenail art, i'll get a regular nail art post up later this week.

Now, onto the rest of the post! Last week my mom was scheduled to have a pedicure before we left for vacation, and she came into my room and wanted to take a color she liked with her. She ended up choosing my franken, Foxy Moxie, and off she went! But when she came home, her toe nails were polish free! I asked what had happened, and apparently they got a new girl as a secretary and she had been screwing people's appointments up all week, and had forgotten to enter in my mom's pedicure appointment. My mom was pretty bummed because we were planning to be at the pool and out on the lake a lot on our vacation, so she wanted her toes to be pretty. I don't usually do pedicures (because like i said, feet are kinda weird to me), but i offered to do hers because of the circumstance, and c'mon- it's my mom! Well, after i finished painting her nails, she totally convinced me that i just had to do my toes too, because it's cute and i already do my nails. So for the first time in probably seven years, i painted my toe nails. And since i hadn't done any nail art for today yet, i figured i'd add some stamping and rhinestones and call it good!

I started with a gorgeous base of Zoya Caitlin (and i kind of wish i had stopped here! The color was amazing!). I had just purchased Poshe topcoat to try with my Zoyas that same day, so I wanted to test it out for wear and see if it would actually work for me. Surprise surprise, it worked perfectly! I'm so excited because now I can finally wear my Zoya polishes without chipping for more than one day. Anyway, back on track. Zoya Caitlin is a beautiful dusty blurple creme, and it had perfect application with two coats. One coat of Poshe and it was shiny and good to go!

Once i finished the base color, I stamped the polka dot image from BM19 with Sinful Colors Snow Me White and added a cluster of rhinestones on my large toe.

Then of course I had to have a matching, but not too flashy, manicure to go with my bedazzled tootsies! I chose the lovely Zoya Dannii, which is a beautiful warm purple with an obvious gold shimmer and a more subtle pink shimmer. Two coats of Dannii and one coat of Poshe and I was good to go. My camera photographed this color a little cooler and darker than it is in person.

Do you like or dislike seeing pedicures on nail blogs? Do you own any of the colors used in this post? Have you tried using Poshe with Zoya polishes? If so, how was your experience? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

19 June 2011

I've Been Tagged! - Top 10 Award

I was completely flattered when Posh For Polish and The Nailaholic tagged me for this award! It's the first tag award i've been tagged for, so that makes it even more exciting for me. I also have another tag to do, but i haven't gotten around to it yet... oops! Anyway, I'll stop chattering and get on with the post.

1. Thank the person who tagged you and link to their blog.
2. Put the Top 10 Award logo on your blog.
3. List your top 10 cosmetics.
4. Choose 10 bloggers to tag, link to their blogs, and let them know.

So since i'm a polish blogger i thought i'd not only list my top ten cosmetic products, but my top ten polishes as well. Oh, and since i can't simply just name the products, you'll have to suffer through little descriptions of why i chose them!

My Top 10 Cosmetics: (These are my favorites of the products I own, in no particular order.)
1. Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara
2. Bare Escentuals Foundation and Mineral Veil
3. Youngblood Concealer
4. B&BW Liplicious Lipgloss in Raspberry Jam
5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Pure Gold and Cottage Cheese
6. Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
7. Almay Intense I-Color Eyeliner in Black
8. Lorac Perfectly Lit Powder in Spotlight
9. Too-Faced Eyeshadow Duo in George And Weezie
10. eos Lipbalm in Honeysuckle

My Top 10 Polishes: (These are my favorites of the polishes I own, in no particular order.)
1. OPI My Private Jet (holographic) - Of course i couldn't let this one not be in my favorites! I mean, c'mon. It's MPJ holo. Enough said.

2. Orly Galaxy Girl - holy gorgeous polish! I love this one- love it! I know i haven't posted swatches yet, but look for them this week!

3. Orly Royal Velvet - Oh man, when i wore this on my nails i couldn't stop staring at it. Probably my favorite duochrome i own.

4. OPI Houston We Have A Purple - Favorite. Jelly. Ever. This is my go-to summer color. I'll probably wear this again as soon as i finish my current untrieds- i can't wait to layer it with glitters!

5. OPI Teenage Dream - *drool* This glitter is so gorgeous. And i'm not even a huge fan of pink polish! I'm always picking this bottle up and looking at it when i go through my stash. Definitely my favorite glitter.

6. OPI Absolutely Alice - Oh AA, why couldn't you have worn better on me? But i won't give up on you! I will possess your gorgeous blue and gold glittery fantasticness for more than one day of wear!

7. OPI Merry Midnight - Suzi, Y U NO give us more gorgeous colors like this?! Do i really need to explain my love for this color? Because it's fantastic.

8. Hard Candy Beetle - I also have Space Cadet, but i haven't tried it yet. But anyway, this is an amazing multi-chrome, and it looks crazy awesome layered with black shatter.  (as you already all know!)

9. China Glaze White Cap - I've only used this once, but it's already secured a spot in my favorites! It's so pretty when layered, and i can't wait to try it over more colors!

10. OPI The One That Got Away - Ironically, this is the one polish from the KP collection that i didn't get the first go around.. and then when i wanted it, none of the places in my town had it!! I had to drive to a mall an hour away to find one, and when i did i was so glad because it's just stunning in the bottle. I can't wait to show you swatches!

The blogs i'm about to tag are the ones that are personally some of my favorites to visit, and these girls always have great personality in their posts along with wonderful pictures and ideas. If you've been tagged before, sorry for tagging you again! (But congrats on being tagged more than once!) I decided i didn't want to tag the "huge" blogs because 1. they've probably been tagged already, and 2. i wanted to draw attention to some different blogs than the ones everybody knows about!

10 Blogs To Tag:
1. Nail Polish Art Addiction - Leslie simply has the cutest hand painted designs, along with excellent execution and she's always incredibly nice in replying to comments or questions! Oh, and she's having a contest right now that ends on June 20th. I tried my hand at hand painting and i pretty much suck at it. So now i'm even more amazed by her mini nail paintings!

2. Gotham Polish - Amy has such a unique polish blog. She links areas of NYC with different polishes, and i always feel like i'm learning something when i read her blog! Plus she recently went to Aruba and her pictures from there are gorgeous.

3. Like A Candy Shop - Elsa's blog is always fun to read because she reviews and takes great pictures of polishes that i don't have in huge supply where i live, such as Essence (oh.my.gosh. so many additions to my mental wish list because of her Essence swatches!). Oh! and she also just changed her layout and it's crazy adorable! Loving that marshmallow letter font!

4. Prettyfulz - Julie's blog was my go-to place for super cute nail stamping with tons of rhinestones. Plus she's incredibly nice, and back when BM came out with their new plates she worked super hard to post up-to-date info the entire time! She hasn't posted in a while (does anyone know why?), but her blog is definitely one you should browse through if you like stamping!

5. Rebecca Likes Nails - I always enjoy reading Rebecca's posts because her personality really comes out in her writing, and she takes the time to provide extra info about polishes. She's also been reviewing a lot of Color Club polishes recently, which i was excited about because i'm finally in an area with a Ross while i'm on vacation! yay!

6. Nail Spotting - Okay, so every time i visit her blog i get serious banner envy. I so wish i had thought of her banner idea first! It's awesome! Plus she has gorgeous pictures (can we trade nails plz?). I went to her blog to grab a link for this post, and i couldn't believe she doesn't have more followers! Followers, go, get your hineys over to her blog and check it out!

7. Ivanka Thinks Pink - Her nails are so pretty- i love looking at her pictures because they're always of great quality and she has such nice nails! She does review a lot of pink polish, so if you're a fan of pink, or you're looking for inspiration for that Pink Wednesday post, check out her blog. Oh, and she did a gorgeous ruffian with gold and OPI We'll Always Have Paris Suede. Seriously, you need to see it. *adds WAHPs to wishlist*

8. Nightly Nails - Not only a cute concept, but a cute blog as well! Nicole does a great job at writing her posts so it's like she's actually talking to you- not just robotically providing polish info. haha! Right now she's doing Color Focus weeks, but you have got to check out the Neon Splatter manicure she did recently- it made me want to try a splatter manicure so bad!

9. Emily's Nail Files - I think i've said this in every mini blurb about the blogs I chose, but that's probably because it's really important to me- Emily really lets her personality shine through in her posts, which makes them really engaging and interesting to read. She recently did a tiger stripe inspired manicure, and i know i'll be whipping out that technique the next time a friend asks for an animal print on her nails! It looks so awesome!

10. LinZ Lacquer - Lindsay does such a great job at formatting her posts on her blog. She provides information you want to know right up front, and follows it up with lovely pictures. I seriously wish my nails looked that good rounded/ as squovals! Her blog is on the small side right now, but i'm fully expecting that some of you will wander over and see how awesome it is and go follow :) (p.s. she just bought 230 so if you're a unicorn pee addict, she'll be posting about it soon!)

Whew, that took some time to type out! If i didn't mention your blog, it isn't because i don't LOVE it! I love every single blog i follow- heck, i followed it for a reason! haha! I hope you gals check out the blogs above, or if you're already following them, great!

Thanks for reading my gigantic-ness of of a tag post! Oh, and be prepared for something a little unexpected tomorrow for nail art- i'd never thought i'd do it, but my mom convinced me to! (curious now aren't ya? hehe)

17 June 2011

Franken Friday - Foxy Moxie

Happy friday lovelies! As you're reading this i'm already in the car and on the road for vacation! Yay! But no worries- i fully plan on continuing to post throughout my vacation. As i'm writing this it's a beautiful day outside, perfect for showcasing a shimmery creation of mine. I've found that i'm much better at frankening shimmers than I am at frankening glitter bombs. Maybe that will change once I get my hands on some good frankening glitters, but for now I think my focus will stick with shimmers.

Readers, meet Foxy Moxie. She's a mix between a bright pink and a muted purple, and she's jam packed full of shimmer. Light blue, purple, hot pink- It's a fantastic mix of sparkle goodness! These pictures are pretty flattering, but of course this franken is way more impressive in person. In the picture below, the middle, ring, and pinky fingers are how she looks  most of the time in regular lighting- but that index finger shows what she can do when you put the spotlight on her. This is three coats of Foxy Moxie. The formula was wonderful- if I say so myself! Okay, okay, enough chatter- i'll let you see more pictures!

Check out all those colors on the index finger where it's blurry! 

Detail shot! 

Foxy Moxie is by far my favorite franken i've created. As I mentioned in my last post, i've been considering selling/ sending out samples of my frankens. I'm still toying with the idea, but if you're interested in Foxy Moxie and want to see what she's like in person, leave me a comment! If you'd maybe like to review her on your blog, send me an email? I can't guarantee that you'll get a bottle, but right now I'm interested in seeing what your opinions are, or if anyone would even be interested! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great weekend!