Sunday, April 27, 2014

L'Oreal Eva's Nude

Ohh L'Oreal, how I love thee, let me count the ways!!  Haha, although it is  true... I've said a few times that L'Oreal has to be my favorite drugstore polish brand.  The brushes are my ideal kind of brush, rounded to fit perfectly in the curve near the cuticle with little effort (squared off brushes always lead to either messy spots on my cuticle or extra concentration to make sure I don't touch the sides), the formulas of the cremes I have are lovely one or two coaters, and I am a big fan of the bottles themselves.  They're pretty and easy to store neatly, and I especially love the labels on the new Collection Privée!  Gosh, when did I get to be such a packaging junkie?!

Indoors, daylight bulb

Despite my usual scorn for "celebrity endorsements," I like the glamourous feel of this collection.  In high school speech class, we learned about advertising ploys and that was one of the biggest, of course.  "Buy this product and you too will be rich, famous, and look like said larger-than-life persona!"  Personally, it just rubs me the wrong way, for some reason.  BUT that said, I am really digging all of  Les Nudes polishes and even the looks of the lipsticks!  Check out L'Oreal's site for some lovely, drool-worthy photos. :)

Outdoors, full sun

Here we have two coats of Eva's Nude with Alcatraz...Rocks! as an accent and a heart. :)  You can probably tell I initially used a berry red polish (Julep Joan) but decided I wasn't feelin' it and went with this instead - right over the top.  I like!!!  For the heart, I took Scotch tape, made it almost unsticky by putting it on & pulling it off my palm several times, folding it so two thirds of the strip overlapped (leaving a tail so I could more easily pull it apart), then took a cosmetic scissors and cut out a tiny heart like I used to do as a kid to make paper hearts. :)

Outdoors, shade (aka the sun is behind a cloud!)

 Technically, Eva's nude is not the polish I should've chosen as I am not Hispanic and have decidedly white skin!, but I think I'm in love.  I'd been eyeing butter LONDON'S Tea & Toast, fancying a caramel-toned brown/tan/cream polish, and this has satisfied my craving!  It seems significantly lighter than T&T, but I like it - especially with that beautiful  rosy copper shimmer that is so evident in the first photo. :D  I think Julianne is actually the correct shade for me and I would buy it too (not to mention I like the actress whose name it bears) but I think my ChG Below Deck is quite similar.  Maybe I'll bring Below Deck on a rare field trip with me the next time I go to Wal-Mart and do a bottle comparison! ;)  hehe

P.S. just kidding about satisfying my craving - completely, that is.  I just now found Tea & Toast for $7 on!  Talk about coincidence... or fate!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bear Pawlish: Awww! You Guys Made Me Ink!

You know how much I love a good holo!!!  So when I somehow stumbled upon Bear Pawlish last month, I knew a couple of Tennessee's pretties had to be mine.  I picked Maleficent (which will make an appearance as soon as Dani - aka From Polish, With Love - and I can plan our twinsie post) and Awww! You Guys Made Me Ink!  This polish was inspired by none other than the adorable octopus, Pearl, from Finding Nemo which is one of my all-time favorite movies.  :D
Perhaps it's worth mentioning that she's the only  octopus I find adorable; they quite honestly freak me out almost to the point of a phobia.  Not kidding, I've had "nightmares" about swimming in the ocean and getting one stuck on my leg!  LOLOL

So check out this awesome and sweet pink holo:

I still cannot get over the dreamy formula!  Two easy coats with fabulous dry time and no bubbling!!  And by no means does it turn into a silvery holo like the Color Club Halo Hues in the shade, BECAUSE...
If you think you detect a hint of fuchsia/pinky shimmer in the middle of the holo rainbows, I would say you are most certainly correct; the BASE is actually a micro flakie pink shimmer!  Imagine THAT!! :D  It's just so pretty!
The accent nail, as you can see is Shimmer Polish Sonia at three coats.  'Twas a lovely pairing in real life, but unfortunately, I have not yet figured out the trick to capturing the true beauty of Shimmers. :(  Gonna have to work on that because I got two more recently.

Here is my first-ever attempt at an underwater shot in hopes to really show that pink micro flakie.  I think it might've worked okay... obviously not the best quality ever, but you can see it!  And even some totally unexpected golden shiftiness! hehe
Oh and added bonus: a hint at the beauty of Sonia with her gold, iridescent, pink, and lavender hexes and micro glitters. :)

This being my very first experience with a totally new-to-me indie, I would rate it as a 10 out of 10!  The polish is amazing (totally worth the $10!), shipping time is very reasonable, and you can actually interact with the maker as she is very active in the Bear Pawlish Facebook group, as well as Swatch - tastic. :)  Definitely check out her Big Cartel, ladies and gents!!!!  And prepare to hold onto your nails as they just might be blown away!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another A-England beauty; Her Rose Adagio

This was supposed to be a tribute post of sorts, so I chose these polishes and the design with that in mind.  Said tribute post did not really work out, however I do declare the mani still deserves its moment in the sun!  :)  
And crazily enough, I just looked back at my first post; it happened to be on April 15th, 2013. So I guess that means today is my one-year blogiversary!  Haha!  Don't know how that one escaped me... I'll have to do an official post on that tonight!

Shade, indoors

Personally I was hoping that Her Rose Adagio really would be as peachy pink as some of the initial pics I saw of it made it appear, but to me it is a very  soft, pale pink with just a hint of peach.  And I love it as it is!!  A-Englands are just far too mesmerizing and ephemeral not to love!   Unfortunately I cannot tell you how many coats I used here because this mani is about a month old. :-/  Bad me, I know!  I believe it was opaque in 2, but I went for 3 to see if that would intensify the color. Fairly certain I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure topcoat (and my standard Duri Rejuvacote for a base...'cuz it makes muh nailzz GROW!!).

Indirect sunlight, indoors

No, I did not freehand the chevrons... I recently bought a set of Fingr's nail art tools/brushes at Wal-Mart and it had a sheet of chevrons, french tips, and straight lines, but they're about double the width I wanted them to be, so I took a cosmetic scissors and cut them in half both ways.  Then I made them slightly less sticky by putting them on my palm a few times. Careful positioning and a thickish coat of Home Run!, and VOILA!! Lovely chevrons.

LED flashlight on my phone :)  It brings out dee holo!!!

I am not as happy with these photos as I would like to be, but I still think the overall effect is quite pretty.  I hope you can forgive the imperfections, oddities, and some shoddy cuticles (daaarn warehouse!) and enjoy a bit o' beauty!!!  It might be elusive this time of year (we are having a muddy, chilly, dismal "spring" that feels like winter), but I still see plenty of beauty in the smiles and laughter of my friends, the occasional blue sky, and of course; MY STASH!  :D  hehe
Try to find some beauty today, and help someone else to find it too. :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring is here! ...On my nails, anyway.

Today we actually have melty, drippy, mud-creating sunny weather, but I'm sure tomorrow or in a few days, we'll have another snowstorm just like last week.  Seriously!  18 inches of snow in approximately 24 hours?!  Not cool, spring!  Not cool. -_-   This however is very cool or more accurately, beautiful and cheery. :D  I give you Northern Star Polish Printemps (salmon pink faint linear holo WITH ICY BLUE MICRO FLAKIES) and Belles Fleurs (multi glitter topper featuring pale pink and red poppy colored flower glitter in a clear base).

Those micro flakies are very camera-shy, but I promise you, you can spot them in real life.  Careful not to confuse them with the blue in the holo spectrum 'cuz THEY DO EXIST!  And it adds extra panaché to this pink! ;)

Not the best cropped & enlarged super macro shot in the world, but I hope you can forgive its trespasses.  I really wanted you to be able to see the variety and quantity of glitters you can get in one coat.  And my favorite part: no sinking or pockmarking glitters!! YAY.  She must use some serious suspension base because when you turn the bottle, the glitters really don't even move.  The only other topper I have like that is Liquid Lacquer Pink Lemonade. :)  I just figured out what it reminds me of: fruit suspended in Jell-o.  hehe!

The formula on Printemps was in my opinion, terrific, although some might argue a tad sheer.  I used 3 coats on this hand and two on the other so you could see the difference.  I actually wore both with 2 for a couple days and yes, I could sometimes see my nail line, but in other lights, it seemed opaque enough that you could hardly tell.  Either way, the beauty of Printemps makes me not care about VNL!!  The shop lists it as a salmon pink, but it really reminds me of "original" Bubble Yum or Bubble Tape (just a bit darker when dry & if you use 3 coats).  I remember begging my mom for Bubble Tape every time we went to the grocery store. :P
The brush is flat and has that same crisp "snap" to it that I love about L'Oreal polishes.  Dry time was amazing... I honestly can't tell you how long I waited, but I remember being wowed by it.  And they dried so smooth and shiny.  I almost didn't use a topcoat, but knew I had to work in our warehouse before I'd get to take photos, so I threw on a layer of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure topcoat.

Such a beautiful mix of holo, metallic, and satin glitters!!   Mostly pastel pinks, blues, and gold, but there are the bolder red flowers and occasional kelly green medium hex.

Just a hint of VNL, but with the holo and the glitters, who cares?!  Sorry about the scuff marks; like I said, post-working in the warehouse. :(

Yes, there are even satin pastel blue circle glitters in there!!! :D  I must say I had to do some serious fishing for a light pink flower, but had I gotten an orangewood stick instead of repeatedly chasing them with the brush, I'm sure it wouldn't have taken nearly as long to nab one.  The flowers do not lay flat on me, but honestly, I don't even care!  This is my first topper with flower glitter and I think it's beautiful and fun.  I just threw a thick coat of Seche Vite on top and said "that'll do!"

All in all, I love this brand, and her cuticle oils are WONDERFUL too!  Thanks to them, you have what you see here which is a tremendous improvement over what they were last week.  If you read my previous post (please do, because you really should see her amazing packaging!), you'll know how thrilled I was to discover that Northern Star Polish happens to be made by Kristin who resides in a suburb of my state's capitol.  :D  I really hope to meet her someday!  Until then, I'll be content ordering creations from her Etsy shop.  :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Nail mail GALORE!!! WOWZA

This week has been UHmazing!!!  Monday, (in the midst of a blizzard which dumped 18" of snow on us) I came home to the most amazing SURPRISE package from a dear blogger friend; the amazing Melissa of Lacquer Reverie!!!!!!! :D  Just LOOK  at this beauty and generosity!  That would be Strawnana on the left, which has been on my wishlist for quite some time, and on the right, Redivivus from the new spring/summer holos.  My mouth was agape for roughly 5 minutes, staring at ALL THE RAINBOWS!!!  Strawnana is a very pale pink nude crelly with teensy tiny holo sparkles that look like fairy dust, small iridescent & gold squares, and small red metallic & frosty white hexes.  I initially thought Redivivus (meaning reborn, brought back to life) was light pink, but according to the description in her Etsy shop, it's actually a light purple strong linear holo.  Absolutely stunning - to me, it's on par with the famous China Glaze OMG holos. :D

And isn't the handwritten card just precious?!  I love it.  Liz is truly an artist - with polish and  a pen! :)  Of course there were some sweet treats too.  I think that is just so kind... almost all nail mail I've gotten from friends has included candy.  Who doesn't love some sugar?!
Melissa, I cannot refrain from thanking you again; this was such a well-timed, unbelievable surprise!!!!  You are far too kind to me!  I will treasure these polishes forEVER. :D

Then today, I opened the mailbox to find it stuffed with some random mail - who cares about that?! - and both my Northern Star Polish AND my Bear Pawlish orders!!!!!!  Woot woot!  heehehe

^ Look at that!  Made right here in my own state! 

I cannot get over her packaging!  The individual boxes for each polish are so professional and "Minnesota nice!"  Yes, that's a thing. :)  I almost didn't even notice the little "Thank you!" on the flap, but I'm so glad I did.  Attention to detail is what distinguishes excellence from average, in my humble opinion.  Another prime example: the cotton ball tucked in to cuddle the polish and keep it from moving in the box.  Awww!  So warm & snuggly!

Printemps is a bubblegum pink subtle linear holo with icy blue mini flakies.  Somehow I missed them in the description, I guess because upon discovering said flakies, I exclaimed: "oh my gosh!!"  ♥ unexpected beauty :)
Belles Fleurs has sooo many pretty, springy glitters suspended (and very well, I might add!) in a clear base.  I think it'll be absolute perfection over Printemps.  Because I'm big on languages & words in general, the French names for these two polishes are especially endearing to me...even though I speak Spanish, not French.  Mais, je sais un peu de Français! hehe  I took two semesters in college, as well as one semester of Arabic.  There are far too many fascinating languages out there for me to focus solely on Spanish!  I really wish I'd kept up with those two as well...

Okay, so I ordered two polishes and two cuticle oils... what on earth is this mystery skinny thing?!  Hmm...

LOVE both of these - the scents and the way they make my cutes feel.  Lettuce sounds odd but it is THE perfect fresh grassy, leafy smell I've been looking for in well, anything!

I snagged this haul during Kristin's 2-year celebration sale for her Etsy shop, and I assure you I'll be a repeat customer!  Maybe one day, I'll even get to meet  this genius indie polish maker, as she lives a mere 5.5 hours  away from me. :D  
So, remember that mystery skinny thing?  THIS is what was in it!  She generously included a sample of her bubble gum cuticle oil, which is amazing because I was debating between the cranberry & bubble gum for my full-size purchases (the lettuce scent was a given).  It's like she read my mind!!! :O  Not to mention, it's a BIG sample in my opinion, and I loooove the rollerball applicator.  I've never had a cuticle oil with a rollerball easy, no mess!  Her full-size oils with the doe foot applicators are nice too, but I think I like this better.

Bear Pawlish!!!! RAWR, you are FIERCE!  And punny.  :P  Okay, yes that was cheesy, but I couldn't resist.  This is yet another new indie brand to my stash (wow, all 3 in this post are, actually!) and I cannot say enough good things about these beauts either!!  
Awww! You Guys Made Me Ink! is the lovely coral-leaning pink strong linear holo on the left, which of course is named after the cute little octopus (Pearl) on Finding Nemo, which happens to be one of my most favorite movies of all time, so the name alone was a selling point.  And SURPRISE, it has these fascinating fuchsia microflakies that almost create a duochrome effect.  Like Printemps, those extra touches that add even more beauty and dimension to a holo just make my heart beat a bit faster when I see them. ;)

Maleficent is the super stunner on the right; the listing on her Bigcartel site calls it an electric blue with a splash of holo, but in person I honestly feel like it's a blurple.  Which I think makes me love it even more!  In some lights, it definitely is pure electric blue, then in others, I think is has to be purple... so shifty! 

SO, ladies and gents, the biggest question now is: WHICH ONE DO I WEAR FIRST?!?!?  Please PLEASE leave a comment and help me decide!  P.S. I do have Strawnana on right now, so that is off le table. ;)  I hope you enjoyed this haul and shared in the excitement with me, and I also hope that you show a new-to-you indie brand some love, whether it be one of these three, or maybe even one I've never heard of!

Aaaand and Emily Extra, brought to you by my famous movie line loving mind!!