Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nail Art Featuring China Glaze Seas and Greetings, Part 1

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Happy hump day, dear readers! Any one else glad that the weekend is almost here? The Thanksgiving holiday threw me off my normal routine and I'm still unsure what day of the week it is without looking at my phone. I'm sure I'll have it all figured out in time for the Christmas holidays throwing a kink in my routine again. I'd be more than happy if the Christmas holidays were moved to a different time of year! I don't care for snow and cold weather so how about literally celebrating Christmas in July?!? It would be fantastic!
China Glaze decided to think outside the box this holiday season, and instead of a collection with traditional shades, the Seas and Greetings Collection is all about the warm sun-kissed coast. It's a fabulous break from tradition, and I love the colours! Since there are so many of us bloggers that are swtaching or have already swatched this collection for you, I opted to showcase these beauties in nail art. I've been taking the time to wear and enjoy each of my looks so I've got this broken up into two posts. Let's jump in on two of the designs I created with colours from the collection.

Wait, what? Poinsettias? I figured I'd make the transition to non-holiday a little smoother with something a little more traditional for the holidays.
Colours used: Snow Way!, The More The Berrier, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Starfish

I also used the LeaLac stamping plate for the poinsettia image.
The More the Berrier stood out to me as an odd outlier for the collection- it felt like a traditional shade that just didn't fit the rest of the collection. It was for that reason I opted to use it for a more traditional look. I'll admit that I wasn't overly excited about a metallic magenta hue, but once I had it on my stamper, I was floored. This baby stamps better than a good number of my stamping polishes! Even if you aren't one for straight metallic nails, I'd definitely recommend it for use in stamping! Twinkle, Twinkle Little Starfish added a nice hint of green sparkle to this nail art design.

My other nail art design definitely embraces the seaside "fun in the sun" brightness of the collection!
Colours used: Partridge in a Palm Tree, Sand in My Mistletoes, and Warm Wishes
I love the look overall, but the multiple layers of dots is my favorite part of this design! It photographed a little on the pinker side here, but I absolutely love Sand in My Mistletoes!

The Seas and Greetings Collection consists of 12 polishes, and only 6 of them are available for is purchase at Sally's stores. The complete collection is available for purchase online at Sally Beauty. Please note this collection is not available for purchase at Ulta.

What do you think of these two designs? Do you have a favorite so far? I'll be back soon with another post featuring other designs using this collection!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Born Pretty Store Kitten Water Decals Meets Alter Ego Nail Enamels

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Greetings, dear readers! The past few days have been intense and unpleasant, so I'm running a little behind on the blog front. I'm going to try to just work through it although I may have to work with a light posting schedule until a few things are resolved. I have a folder on my computer filled with photos to share with you so as long as I can sit down and focus for a few minutes, I should still be getting posts up for you. Now let's jump in on today's post!

I am a dog person. There, I said it. It's not that I don't like cats, but if a creature is going to be waking me up at all hours of the night yeowling for food, they better show me some appreciation. You don't have to be a cat lover to know that showing gratitude is beyond the scope of a cat's personality, but there is still something cute about the high-energy, high pitched mewing of kittens. I have a cat, and while I am quite fond of her, I'm still not a cat person. For those of you that have been following me for a little while, you may remember when I introduced you to my new kitten, Calypso, a tiny little hairball that meandered into my yard when I was fully pregnant with my second son. I had no desire to keep her and thought we would have no problem finding her a new home when her original owners couldn't be found. After a vet visit with the hubby to the tune of several hundred dollars, she became ours. A year and a half later, she is still quite lean in spite of her freefeeding (did I mention how much I loathe the middle of the night yeowling?), and she is still incredibly soft. Of course, I don't get to enjoy her softness because she only curls up in the middle of the night with me at my feet. I'm really hoping she mellows out a little more when the boys are better about giving her space and not charging her when she walks into the living room. And now that I have satiated her need to be the center of the universe focus of a blog post for a hot minute, let's actually get to the real reason you're here.

In my previous post, I shared swatched of Penny Pincher by Alter Ego Nail Enamels (along with a couple others). I absolutely loved the colour and decided to wear it a few days and really enjoy it longer than I sadly do other polishes. I had received the cutest citten water decals from Born Pretty Store to review, and they matched so perfectly!
How adorable are these water decals! They can be found at the Born Pretty Store site here.
Let's check them out on my nails!

When I first got these to review, I planned to wear the other kitten since the brown tabby matches my girl more, but these orange kittens are just so gosh darn cute and matched Penny Pincher so perfectly! 
The water decals are clear on the areas without the kittens and paws, and I layered them over my favorite nude shade, Jacqueline by Zoya.
Awwwwww! These are so adorable! I'm probably going to say that a few more times in this post, but I can't seem to help myself! These decals floated off the cardstock backing after soaking in water for about 20 seconds and nudged off with my thumb. They layed fairly nicely on my nails, but there were some spots that had a little bit of wringling that needed some manipulating to got out. Even though these water decals are fairly thin and seem maleable, they are a little on the rigid side such that they can be harder to maniculate over deeper C curves on your nails. Although, manipulating the ends over my currently not-squared edges was tricky. I ended up using a find brush with acetone to sumultaneously tuck some of the excess water decal around my sidewalls and nail tips in addition to dissolving off the excess material for easy removal. I then added a quick coat of top coat, and in spite of carefully floating extra top coat over my nails, I still had my brush picking up some of the decal. If you use water dealcs without issues, I'd LOVE to know what top coat you use! I've had this issue with every single quick dry top coat I use, and while floating polish certainly minimizes destroying the image, it still isn't perfect.

I'm a little annoyed by some of the pulled off areas from these decals, but those big crazy eyes suck me in and make me go "awwww" all over again so it's all good. I actually wore this manicure for three days and still think it's all kinds of adorable!

Be sure to check out Born Pretty Store for all your nail art needs! They have such a great selection at affordable prices! Packages can take 6-8 weeks to arrive so plan accordingly if you are ordering seasonal/holiday specific items. It's likely too late to get Christmas-type items now, but it's a great place to shop for the unique holidays like Chocolate Cake Day or National Handwriting Day. And yes, those are a thing! While you're there, you can save 10% off full priced items with discount code QWL91.

What do you think of these kitten decals? Do you like water decals in general? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful evening!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Alter Ego Body Care Products: Swatches and Review of Three Nail Polish Shades

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Happy Friday, dear readers! For those of you that celebrated the holiday, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! I actually took the day off and did NOTHING that involved the blog....well, other than a share on social media or so. Even on days that I don't post, I'm usually swatching, creating nail art, editing, or writing up posts, so it was a big deal that I didn't do any of it for a change. Instead, I spent the day with my husband and boys and made a rather sizable meal for it only being us. Hey, if that means meals are taken care of for the next several days, so be it! If my posts start to gobble, then you know I might have hit my breaking point with the turkey leftover, haha! I also got a few Christmas decorations up in the front yard. It was so difficult holding back the past few weeks, so the fact I made it to Thanksgiving is quite impressive. Now on to today's blog post!

I had the pleasure of swatching a few shades from Alter Ego Body Care Products/Alter Ego Nail Enamels. These aren't new shades in the brand lineup; however, the formulas have been changed, and they are now being re-released with their new and improved formulas. Let's check them out!

Curses! Foiled Again
Three coats plus top coat

This poor gal-she tries so hard to think ahead and plan appropriately but seems to get blocked at every turn.  The phrase 1 step forward and 2 steps back is her lot in life but with good humor she spends a lot of time saying Curses!  Foiled Again  :)  A simple metallic-like silver.

Just in time for the holidays is the re-release of this gorgeous foiled silver shade. I don't wear silvers much during the year, but I love them for the holidays! Curses! Foiled Again is a little on the sheerer side so you will need three coats for opacity, but the colour payout with ZERO brush strokes make it well worth it! This applied beautifully for me, and I couldn't be happier with this stunning metallic shade.

Cuts Thistles in May

Three coats plus top coat

When I went looking for something to name this gorgeous purple after a photo of a thistle popped up :)  According to my screen the color was a perfect match & then I saw this ez sing-song for the little ones that says: Cuts thistles in May, They'll grow in a day.  Cut them in June, That is too soon,  Cut them in July, Then they will die.   Perfect rhyme to teach children about growing flowers & to have patience!  Purple tinted  base with fine purple glitter.

I feel like one of the only polish people that isn't overly fond of purples, but Cuts Thistles in May is still pretty. It is definitely on the sheer side, and I was a little worried it might need a fourth coat, but it reached opacity nicely with only three coats. This isn't the type of colour I'm likely to wear on its own, but because it is sheer, it would look phenomenal layered over your favorite mauve, purple, or gray to add a gorgeous sheen plus a pop of sparkle. Whether you choose to wear it layered or on it's own, the formula is perfection and applies easily to the nails!

Penny Pincher
Two coats plus top coat

This Penny Pincher knows how to make every cent count!  Lightest of sparkle, a brilliant copper. 

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to any of you that my favorite of these three shades is Penny Pincher. I know, I know, my love of orange makes me so predictable, but seriously, how could you not fall in love with this glowing copper shade! This was the most densely pigmented of the three shades in this post, and I only needed two coats for opacity. The formula was on point and I will definitely be grabbing this baby again. I'm already thinking festive nail art with this shade and Curses! Foiled Again....oh yes! It'll be fabulous!

These three shades can be picked up from the Alter Ego Body Care Products site located here. Alter Ego offers a large variety of body care products in addition to polish so it's a great place to pick up a few gifts for your favorite people, yourself included. ;) Now is actually a great time to pick up your favorites because Alter Ego is offering a whopping 40% off purchases made through Cyber Monday with discount code SHOPINDIE. Alter Ego products are always a great deal to begin with, and I am floored that the discount is so generous! I'm off to go get a few things ordered myself!

Have you tried any of the polishes or body care products from Alter Ego Body Care Products? If so, what are your favorites? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ellagee: Cozy Winter Nights Collection and a Black Friday Weekend Exclusive Shade!

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Happy hump day, dear readers! I hope this post finds you well! Things are pretty low-key around here the rest of this week while I am home with my husband and boys for the Thanksgiving holiday. We aren't going to be traveling around here, nor do we have guests visiting this year, and that really takes the pressure off for feasting requirements. Sure, we're going to have a turkey and a few of the sides, but we've picked our few favorites to cook rather than make things we're not as fond of. Thanksgiving marks the startup of a crazy season, so I'm going to be taking it easy this week before I start stressing about all the things I need to get done.

For today's blog post, I wanted to share the new Cozy Winter Nights Collection designed by Ellagee Polish for this holiday season in addition to the Black Friday exclusive. Let's check them out!

The Cozy Winter Nights Collection is composed of four deep, richly colored subtle holos filled with bright shimmer and color shifting ultrachrome flakes. I was out in public when I staged this photo, and I got a lot of odd looks from people when I pulled out my camera. Haters gonna hate, but this bottle shot certainly makes me feel all warm and cozy during those chilly nights! Let's get a closer look at each shade!

Fireside Sparks
Three coats plus top coat

A smokey navy blue subtle holo with bright blue shimmer plus color shifting ultrachrome flakes

There is something so beautiful about smoky blue shades, and I just love this combination with the flakes! The formula of this polish was perfection and it applied with no digging of flakes or flake clumpage. There were a few occasional flakes that were overhanging from my nail, but they remove easily or can be pushed bakc up onto the nail for a smooth nail tip finish.

Aurora Borealis
Two coats plus top coat

A charcoal subtle holo with blue/lavender shifting shimmer plus color shifting ultrachrome flakes

I have only seen auroras in photographs, but I hope to have the opportunity to see one in person some day. Until then, I am happy to get my fix with this beautiful polish! Aurora Borealis was a touch more pigmented that the rest of the Cozy Winter Nights Collection, so I only needed to use to easy coats for opacity.

Cozy Warm
Three coats plus top coat

A deep red subtle holo with pink shimmer and color shifting ultrachrome flakes

I love dark, sultry red polishes in general, but Cozy Warm has the added Va Va Voom due to those flakes! This polish is perfect for when you want to get your vamp-look on, and other than having to push a stray flake back up onto the nail, the formula is sublime.

Merry and Bright
Three coats plus top coat

An evergreen subtle holo with gold shimmer plus color shifting ultrachrome flakes

I love to sport evergreen nails once the holidays come around, and what holiday collection could truly be complete without one! Merry and Bright rounds out this holiday quad perfectly, and as you may have guessed already, the formula was fantastic!

The Cozy Winter Nights Collection will be launching on the Ellagee Polish website here on Black Friday. You can purchase the shades individually for $12 a piece, or you can buy the full 4-piece collection at the discounted price of $43.

In addition to the Cozy Winter Nights Collection, Ellagee Polish will also be offering a weekend exclusive shade. Presenting: The Naughty List!

The Naughty List
Three coats plus top coat

A sheer silver base full of shades of silver, gold, and copper microglitter

Who knew that being naughty could be so good! Well.....ahem.....I'm just going to leave it at that, haha! You may be getting coal in your stockings this year, but your nails will dazzle you so much that you just won't care. This shade is stunning, and I love that the additional gold and copper microglitters makes it more wearable for more skintones than a true silver only. It certainly is a must have, even if you are on Santa's good list this year.

The Naughty List is the Black Friday weekend exclusive; it will only be available for purchase starting on Friday through the weekend before retiring at 11:59 pm cst on Monday November 28. It will also be a free bonus with any $50 merchandise purchase on Black Friday only.

Black Friday Weekend Promotion!
All purchases over $20 on Black Friday will receive a mystery code for $1 to $10 off a future purchase from Ellagee Polish.

Is there a particular shade from the Cozy Winter Nights Collection that has caught your attention, or will you be adding yourself to The Naughty List this weekend? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On the 11th Day of Polish, Le Polish Gave to Me Olive More Wine, Please!

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Greetings, dear readers!  I hope you've been having a wonderful week so far! I had the pleasure of participating in the 12 Days of Polish Project orchestrated by Allison of Le Polish. If you're not familiar with this project, let me fill you in! Allison partnered up with 12 different bloggers and swatchers, and we each provided an inspiration photo showcasing something special about what winter meant to each of us. If you recall, Allison and I worked together once before for my Made for Me Monday Series (which sort of fizzled out on me after several months, unfortunately) to create A Secret Garden, and I was eager to work with Le Polish again for this project.

One of my favorite things about the winter are the holiday lights, and because I live in wine country, I wanted a photo that incorporated both these ideas. I stumbled across this gorgeous photo by Michael Regnier, titled "Holiday Lights in the Vineyard". I passed this photo along to Le Polish and let Allison work her magic in creating my shade for the 12 Days of Polish Project.

Allison initially focused on the green for the base shade and pulled in other colours to wrap up the polish design.

On the 11th Day of Polish, my true love gave to me .... Olive More Wine, Please!
Three coats plus top coat

Olive More Wine, Please! is an olive green crelly with gold holo glitters and blue shimmer and flakes.

Allison has a knack for creating crelly shades with sublime formulas! In true Le Polish fashion, Olive More Wine, Please! applied like a dream. I actually only needed two coats for opacity but added a third because I wanted a larger blue flake for this closeup photo. I know, it's totally crazy, but you guys love me in spite of it, right? I like that this shade is a little unusual and not a particular colour you see often, but I know there are plenty of green fans that would be happy to sport this polish this winter!

Olive More Wine, Please! and the rest of the shades from the 12 Days of Polish Project will be available for purchase from the Le Polish website located here starting November 25th at midnight EST. All shades will be available in full size only (15mL) and will retail for $10 each.

Check out the linkup below to see all the shades created by Le Polish for the 12 Days of Polish Project. The 12th and final shade will be shared tomorrow, so keep an eye out for it on social media!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pretty & Polished Winter 2016: Partial Collection Swatches and Review

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Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you enjoyed the weekend and your week is off to a fabulous start! My kids finally seem to be over their sickness (yay), but I definitely caught their bug and still fighting it. Gotta love the sharing, right? At least I have pretty polish to share with you today!

For today's blog post, I have four shades from the new Winter 2016 by Pretty & Polished to share with you. This collection has a variety of colours and finishes to get your manicured digits in the winter spirit, and I am thrilled to have a little variety for you today. Let's check them out!

Yule Thank Me Later
Three coats plus top coat

A Blue to Green Multi-chrome polish packed with golden shimmer and color shifting flakes.

I personally celebrate Yule so I'm always happy to see it in puns for polish names, no sarcasm intended. This is such a gorgeous shade and one of my must-have picks, but then *spoiler alert* I'll be saying that about all four shades in this post. The formula was fantastic, a characteristic Pretty & Polished in known for, and it applied like a dream. I had no issues with the flakes clumping although you may need to either remove one from the nail edge or push it back up onto the nail should a stray choose to hang off.

Retail: $9.00/15mL; $5.00/6mL

Spike My Cider
Two coats plus top coat

A light brown holographic polish packed with brown holographic glitter.

Spike My Cider is a delicious warm caramel brown shade! If true brown shades aren't quite your thing, this beauty may be able to give you the brown fix without being too dark. It certainly dazzles with all the glitter! Formula was top notch as this polish gave me no troubles whatsoever during application.

Retail: $8.50/15mL; $4.50/6mL

I Need a Taupe-ical Vacation
Two coats plus top coat

A soft Taupe Dusty Creme.

I am infatuated with the Pretty & Polished "Dusty Creme" lineup, not just the few shades in this collection but all of them! These aren't the true creme polishes that are all homogenous with one shade only. The dusty cremes incorporate a special pigment that gives them the speckled dusty look, and it is awesome! The formula is perfectly smooth, even with this special pigment, and I know I need more in my life!

Retail: $7.50/15mL; $4.25/6mL

Obligatory Christmas Polish
Three coats plus top coat

A white Crelly Polish packed with red and green metallic glitter and golden holographic glitter.

What could be more appropriate to end my post and to include in the collection but the Obligatory Christmas Polish that incorporates red and green. I know I've mentioned a few times in my years of blogging that I'm not fond of white base crellies, but I definitely can make an exception when it comes to perfectly-designed holiday polish! The base shade is actually the slightest bit off white, more like an eggnog shade perhaps, so it makes it a little softer and more wearable for those that cannot wear stark white shades like yours truly here. I had no issues with needing to dig for glitter or clumping, and this applied really beautifully on the nail.

Retail: $8.50/15mL; $4.50/6mL

The 2016 Winter Collection features these and 8 other shades. It is already available for purchase on the Pretty & Polished website located here. You can purchase shades individually, or you can purchase the full 12 piece collection at the discounted price of $90 (Full value is $101.50 and includes free domestic shipping!)

Do you have a favorite shade from the Pretty & Polished Winter 2016 Collection? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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