Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Hunger Games Haul

Happy Leap Day everyone! Leap Day holds a special place in my heart. I met my husband on Leap Day four years ago. We were both at a party and the rest, they say, is history.

But enough of my sappy love story. In addition to today being personally special, my Sally Beauty order of the China Glaze Hunger Games polish finally arrived! Here's my haul!

I also ordered Orly Bonder base coat since I've heard some great things about it. The Hunger Games polish I ordered came in these three pack boxes. 

I didn't get all of the Hunger Games collection, although now I'm kind of regretting not getting Agro. From left to right they are: Fast Track, Harvest Moon, Riveting, Luxe and Lush, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold. They are all gorgeous! I've been waiting for this collection for months and it's great to finally own most of it.

Fast Track, Harvest Moon, Riveting

Stone Cold, Luxe and Lush, Smoke and Ashes

After getting to see these in person, I think I'm most excited about Smoke and Ashes. In the bottle, it has this surprising blue green shimmer to it. I can't wait to wear it. I'm currently wearing Fast Track and a review will be coming soon! I may have to pick up the rest of the collection if I get to a Sally Beauty anytime soon.

Does Leap Day have special meaning for you? Have you picked up any of the Hunger Games collection? Which are your favorite? Let me know in the comments section! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Layering: I Need a Refresh-Mint and KelBel Cosmetics Flora

Today I have a store bought and home made nail polish combo!

I recently purchased Wet n Wild I Need a Refresh-Mint because I had been seeing it everywhere and for $1.99, I felt I HAD to own it. Of course right after I bought it, G from Nouveau Cheap (one of my favorite blogs) made this post comparing Refresh-Mint to China Glaze For Audrey. Apparently, they're dead-on dupes. Despite this, I'm still happy to own both. This is one of my favorite nail polish colors and the more versions of it I own, the better.

Please pardon the smudge on my middle finger. I really need to realize the difference between quick dry and instant dry. Just because I use Seche Vite, does not mean it is immediately dry to the touch after 5 seconds. Luckily I knew I'd be layering over this, so the smudge was no big deal. Overall, I like I Need a Refresh-Mint a lot. The color is beautiful and classic. I didn't have too much of the problem with the new, wider brush. The formula is better on For Audrey, but the formula on Refresh-mint was nice as well.

Next, I layered Flora over Refresh-mint. Flora is actually a color shifting top coat that I made and is now available in my Etsy shop! My shop is called KelBel Cosmetics and you can visit the shop here. All of the polish in the shop is made by me using clear 3 free lacquer base mixed with micas, pigments and glitters. I'll be adding more to the shop and making frequent updates in the next few months.

Flora shifts from pink to gold and has some shades in between depending on what you layer it over. The effect is a lot more subtle over a light color, but I love the combination it makes with Refresh-mint.

These pictures don't really do this combination justice. I love this in person (and not just because I made the top coat). I used two coats of Refresh-mint and two coats of Flora and topped it all off with Seche Vite of course. 

I hope you enjoy this combination. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hometown Haul!

I was back in my hometown of Astoria, Queens this weekend for a surprise party for my Aunt. Since I live about 2 hours away from home, I usually just stay for the weekend when there's a special event going on. That resulted in me also making plans with my best friend to see The Vow (because we love sappy chick flicks) and then go in search of shamrock earrings. While I did not find shamrock earrings (sad), I did manage to find every store within three blocks that sold nail polish.

Anyway, that brings me to the reason for my post. I came across some great polish that I normally don't have access to, so I went a little crazy. Here's my hometown haul! (I also broke my no buy, but it's back on again.)

I ended up getting these beauties from three different stores. A random beauty supply, Claire's, and Ricky's. 

I found the L.A. Colors in the beauty supply store. I like the colors and they are super cheap (.99 cents), so I had to pick them up. On the left is Pink Sizzle, a lovely pinkish red / gold duo-chrome. The one on the right is Rainbow Glitter, which actually just looks mostly like red, blue and silver glitter. I think it will be great for around the 4th of July.

Next was Claire's where I managed to find two of their Magnetix collection. These were the only two colors left and they were buy one get one 50% off. They actually don't have names, which is unfortunate. It was funny buying these because I remember going into this particular Claire's all the time when I was in grammar school for all the latest trendy jewelry. I guess things haven't changed all that much.

I went to Ricky's last, which was a mistake, because they had everything I could ever want. Well, not really, but almost. They had the OPI Holland Collection, a whole display of Color Club Magnetic Force lacquers, one OPI DS, and a lot of Butter London polish. There was also other displays that I didn't even look at. I was in heaven to say the least, but after a whole day of shopping I had to choose wisely. 

I picked up Electro-Midnight from the Magnetic Force by Color Club collection. I think out of any magnetic nail polish, I have to own a blue. And of course, I picked up Butter London Knackered (my first BL), which is absolutely gorgeous in the bottle. Ricky's also had a promotion: when you buy any Butter London polish you get a nail file and bottle of Powder Room for free. I love the shape of the Butter London nail file and who doesn't need more remover?

And because I am in love with Knackered in all it's duo-chrome sparkly goodness, here are some gratuitous bottle shots.  
No flash
With flash

Look at that sparkle!

I can't wait to wear all of these!

Have you had any good hauls lately? Do you own any of these colors? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Giveaway: Cult Nails Jason Wu Giveaway

Hey readers! I apologize for being MIA lately. I've been working on my own personal Etsy shop (coming soon!), which has taken up a lot of my time. That's not including my full-time job and social activities. It's been pretty busy over here!

Anyway, I wanted to share a great giveaway with you! Maria, the creator of the amazing Cult Nails, is hosting a Jason Wu giveaway with two different prizes! If you weren't part of the frenzy, Jason Wu is a designer who recently released a Target line. As with most big designer Target lines, much craziness ensued and most of the items sold out in most places in record time. Luckily, Maria was able to find some pieces and was generous enough to host a giveaway with her finds.

It's a really simple giveaway, which I love, with various ways to enter and there are some great prizes! You can check it out on Maria's blog here. Hurry and enter though because the giveaway ends February 24th!

I also can't wait until Cult Nails reaches 5,000 likes on her Facebook page because Maria will be holding a $5 sale. I don't care when it happens, when it does I will be purchasing a few of those beauties!

Did you enter the Cult Nails Jason Wu giveaway? What are your favorite Cult Nails colors? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone has enjoyed their day. I always like to think that Valentine's Day isn't just for couples. It's a day to spend with whomever you love, no matter if it's a significant other, family member, or friend. While I understand why many people dislike the holiday, it's a nice day to fill with love.

Anyways, today I have a Valentine's themed mani. I didn't have time to do any nail art, but I like my results none the less.

These are the two polishes I used for my Valentine's Day layering. On the left is China Glaze Princess Grace and Wet n Wild Sparked.  I had a few different combinations of Sparked (pink and silver glitter) on a nail wheel and actually let the hubby decide which he liked best. I was surprised that he picked this one, I was sure it would be Sparked over China Glaze Liquid Leather (which looks awesome by the way).

I used two coats of each polish. Princess Grace is the perfect light pink and applied very nicely. If I were wearing it on it's own, I probably would use three coats, but for layering two is perfect. Sparked also applied well for a glitter polish and provided good coverage in two coats as well. I think the combination is perfect for Valentine's Day. It's subtle, but not too subtle. I love it so much I'll probably keep it on all week. It's already been three days and no chips!

I hope you all enjoyed my Valentine's Day layering!

What did you wear on your nails for Valentine's Day? Did you have any special plans? Anyone out there get engaged? Let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pretty & Polished: Nova

Hey readers! Today I have yet another beauty from Pretty & Polished! This time it's Nova, which I thought would be fitting considering Valentine's Day is upon us.

Nova is a red polish with holo shimmer. To me, Nova falls under the cherry / apple red spectrum. I'm usually not a fan of reds, usually preferring blues and purples. Most of the time reds are too bright for me. That said, I absolutely love Nova. It's the perfect red and the holo shimmer just adds that little something extra to make it unique. The polish also applied like a dream and was opaque in two coats. I topped it off with some Seche Vite for a really glossy shine, although it did result in some shrinking.

All of the above photos were taken in artificial light. I tried to get pictures in sunlight, but the weather did not want to cooperate. 

You can pick up Pretty & Polished from Chels' Etsy shop. At the moment most of the polishes are out of stock until a shipment of supplies comes in. But keep an eye on the shop for updates!

What do you think of Nova? Are you a fan of reds? Let me know in the comments section!

*This product was provided to me at a discount for an honest review. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Purple People Eater

Today I have a comparison post for you lovely readers! I don't really have any polishes that are dead-on dupes of each other, but I have some that are similar. Last night I put some on a color wheel and here are some of the results. If you couldn't tell from the title of this post, I went with a purple theme!

First, I have another picture of my Party on my Yacht and Galactus manicure, this time with my iPod, which is also purple. I've realized I own A LOT of purple stuff. My iPod and wallet are both purple, along with a hoodie (a la Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship) and a bunch of tops. I also picked out purple post-its this week at work. So yeah, I love purple and apparently it shows. Also, anyone remember the movie Purple People Eater? I loved that movie!


The first comparison is between two purples, Pretty & Polished Galactus and Sinful Colors Fiji, which I wore a while back. As I was writing this post and editing photos, my husband made me Google Galactus. Apparently, Galactus is a Marvel character who goes around the universe destroying planets after Silver Surfer finds the planets for him. Needless to say, he wears purple. So that's my fun tidbit for the day!

On the left is Galactus and on the right is Fiji, each is three coats on the nail wheel. Clearly they are not dupes of each other. They fall in the same general purple family, but Galactus has the holographic shimmer, while frenzy does not. 

Out of the two, Galactus is my favorite. It is a lot more opaque in fewer layers and it has the holo shimmer.

Next are two polishes that are black bases with purple glitter. Wet n Wild Night Prowl vs. Revlon Scandalous (formerly Facets of Fuchsia). Again, clearly not dupes, but they fall in the same family.

On the left is Revlon Scandalous and on the right is Wet n Wild Night Prowl, 3 coats of each. Scandalous is a bit harder to work with than Night Prowl, but has the better payoff. If you want a black polish with purple glitter, Scandalous is the way to go.

I still have yet to use Revlon Scandalous, but I think when I do I'll layer it over a black creme to make it nice and opaque. Night Prowl is pretty good as a stand-alone polish. 

So there you have it, some purple comparisons! 

Which are your favorites out of these? What's the one color that dominates your nail polish collection and your wardrobe? Does anyone else remember the Purple People Eater movie? Let me know in the comments section! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pretty & Polished: Galactus and Party on my Yacht

Today I have swatches of the first two polishes from Pretty & Polished! I showed you my haul from Chels' Etsy shop a little while ago. She makes some great creations, so be sure to check out her Etsy shop (linked above).

I wanted a simple, quick mani since things have been busy around here. With that in mind, I figured the perfect combination would be Galactus and Party on my Yacht. No stamping or nail art required.

Mini bottle shots

I decided to do a mani of Galactus, which is a purple polish with very subtle holo shimmer. I love purples and I can safely say this will be added to my list of favorite purples. I used two coats and a top coat of Seche Vite to give it a glossy finish. The application was great, easy to work with and opaque. I would have liked a bit more holo in this one, but maybe it was just my bottle or I didn't shake it enough. 

Then I put three coats of Party on my Yacht on my ring finger as an accent nail. Party on my Yacht is a white creme polish packed with hex and bar glitter in pink, purple, gold, green and blue. It's probably one of my favorites from Pretty & Polished that I own. It actually reminds me a little of Mardi Gras in a bottle. I had a little trouble with the application on the first ring finger, but then I got better with the second nail. I think the trick is waiting a little for the coats to set. 

The last two photos show the holo a little bit more. It was hard to capture since I didn't have sunlight to work with, but it's there. I love this mani (and pardon my short nails) and I'm definitely looking forward to trying out more of Chels' creations. And stay tuned because I should have a savings code for you in upcoming posts!

What do you think of this mani? Do you own any creations from Pretty & Polished? Do you plan on picking some up? 

*The products in this post were provided to me at a discount for consideration. Please see my disclosure page for more details. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's Go Giants! A Super Bowl Mani

Last week I decided to do a NY Giants themed manicure in honor of the Giants facing off against the Patriots in this year's Super Bowl. It turned out to be a busy week, so I didn't have time to go all out with the design. I ended up keeping it to a simple color scheme using Essie Aruba Blue and China Glaze Poinsettia.

I added the football using Picnik just for fun. 

Aruba Blue is basically the perfect Giants blue. It's also probably my favorite blue nail polish that I own. It's so bright and perfect. I used 2-3 coats of Aruba Blue for this one.

China Glaze Poinsettia likes to photograph more on the orange-red side, but it is a pretty red in person and went well with the Giants theme. I used 2 coats of Poinsettia.

I had some wear from cleaning before our guests arrived. 

Now I did this before the actual Super Bowl, so little did I know that the Giants would actually beat the Patriots! It really was a great game and came down to the last 57 seconds to determine the winner. 

We had some friends over to watch the game, ordered some pizza and wings, and just enjoyed the spectacle that is the Super Bowl. The commercials were entertaining, half time was a circus, and the game was (literally) a nail biter. I was doing so well on my nails lately, but that game just destroyed them. I'm now down to little nubs, which makes me sad, but I am very excited the Giants won! 

I hope you like my Giants mani, even if you don't like the Giants. Did you do a football themed mani this year? Did you watch the Super Bowl? What was your favorite part? 

Let me know in the comments section! Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nail Mail: Pretty & Polished

First, I want to say a great big hello to my new blog followers! Thank you for following my blog and I hope you've enjoyed the posts so far!

I'm going to keep this post pretty short. Today started with me forgetting to set an alarm and waking up a whole 40 minutes late. Me waking up that late has never happened. I was so confused and frazzled trying to get out of the house on time. I skipped my shower and coffee in the morning, and the whole day I just felt so out of it. I still managed to get to work on time though.

And on top of all that, my cold that stopped two day ago decided to come back today. Yay me! 

But that doesn't matter, because the other day I got some nail mail! Chels from Pretty & Polished makes some awesome polishes that she sells through her Etsy shop. She recently provided me with some at a discount for review and they arrived earlier this week!

I don't have swatches just yet, but here are some bottle shots for you to enjoy!

From Left to Right: Nova, Martian Salad, Cryptid, Galactus, and Party on my Yacht.

I can't wait to wear them all! Most of them are holos and Party on My Yacht is a glitter polish with a white base. My reviews and swatches will be coming in the next few weeks! 

Do you own any from Pretty & Polished? Do you plan on picking any up from Etsy? What are your favorite Etsy shops?

*These products were provided to me at a discount by Pretty & Polished for review.