Friday, July 13, 2012

Girly Girly Glitz

I am seriously obsessed with this manicure... I couldn't even wait to take decent pictures in good light to share this with you! These were taken with my phone under a desk lamp, lol. This is Orly - Kiss the Bride, a super light, almost-white, pink topped with a cheap cheap Wet N' Wild iridescent glitter. Watching the sparkle while I was typing today was really distracting! Apologies for the poor pictures (and my TERRible cuticles, I have not been drinking enough water), take my word for it, this combo is just so girly and cute! I love it!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Julep - Helena

Since we are talking about Julep Maven, I though I would share one of the polishes that came in my Julep Maven Intro box. This gem is Helena, a beautiful magenta/fuchsia cream. A bright jewel tone, this polish is one of those that looks seriously rich and gorgeous on my hands and I bet would look great on any skintone. In terms of the formula on this baby, I wasn't overly thrilled with it. It was the first Julep polish that I had ever tried and to be perfectly honest, I haven't yet figured out how they can charge $14 a bottle for these things. For Helena in general, I just wanted it to be glossier. Even with a high-shine top coat it wasn't shiny enough for my tastes. So there it is: the color is gorgeous but I could do for a lot more shine!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July "It Girl" Julep Maven Box

Last week my July Julep Maven Box arrived in the mail! For those of you who aren't familiar, Julep Maven is a monthly subscription service (think Birchbox, just for nails). It's $20 a month and they advertise that each month you receive at least $40 worth of nail products. I signed up a few months ago when they were having a promotion to get your first box for $0.01 (who could resist that!). I really like that they allow you to look at what is going to be coming in your next box and give you the option to skip it if you aren't completely enthused. I have skipped the last couple of months due to the color selections, however when they offered an additional 4th of July themed glitter polish in this months box, I decided to treat myself. Four pretty polishes for $20 (when a single Julep will cost you $14 at Sephora) seemed like a pretty good deal to me! I did a little photo session when unboxing, so check out the pics below to see what you're missing!

 Such an exciting little package to see in your mailbox!

All decked out for 4th of July! Even included a simple tutorial!

The polishes all snuggled up and safe for travel.

From Left to Right: Kate, Mila, America, Daphne

They even threw in some of those Atomic Firebomb candies which I thought was a very cute touch and a nice throwback to middle school for me! If you want to check out Julep Maven for yourself click the link below and get excited for August!

Some Serious Essie Bling

Today we've got Essie's Luxeffects - Set in Stones over China Glaze - Pelican Gray. I love these Effects polishes... all the ones I have are gorgeous for layering and I need to buck up and go buy the rest of the collection. Glitter gradients like this mani are great for parties or a night out when you want a little hint of sparkle and using a neutral base like a grey makes it wearable from day to night. I wear this kind of mani alot with different polish and glitter combos. Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red, White, and Blue

Fourth of July manis are flying around the internet right now and I love it! Red, white, and blue is definitely not a combination I go for usually so I always take advantage of the opportunity, trying to get in at least 2 patriotic manis in the week around the holiday. This is the one I am rocking right now. The amount that these polishes sparkle make this mani even more festive and appropriate for a sunshiny 4th. You can recreate this look with China Glaze - Ruby Pumps, an AMAZING, glowing red glitter with tons of depth, and China Glaze - Blue Iguana. I just used a Wet 'N Wild white for the dots and the white Stripe Rite polish for the stripe. It is so difficult to capture the beautiful glittering of these polishes so I tried to take pics in a few different lighting conditions and even out of focus to show some of the depth of the glitter.... alas, these are way more beautiful in person. You'll just have to try it yourself!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Sunny Sunday and a Baseball Game

I got the opportunity to take in the Giants vs A's game yesterday at the Oakland Colliseum with the bf and a couple of friends. There are definitely worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than out in gorgeous weather with some good friends, hotdogs, and a game! And ours seats were awesome!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Orly - Kiss the Bride

Brace yourselves for another Orly polish! 

Kiss the Bride is one of those almost whites with a hint of pink, which I love. This kind of color was made super popular by the Kardashians as the whole family sports them on their show. I have a couple Essie polishes like this that I have loved and this one definitely gets added to the list. It is surprisingly opaque and super flattering against my skin - especially when I've got a bit of a summer tan :) This is another polish that can go virtually anywhere... the beach, the office, the bar... and is cute and appropriate. I also think that this would look great paired with Orly - Rage, so I will have to put together a combo mani here in the near future. Love Love Love.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Orly - Terracotta

Terracotta is another of the polishes I snatched up for half off last week and turns out it is one of my favorites of the bunch! It is a bright coral that leans towards red. It is a little more bright than what I would normally think of as a "terracotta" color, but what's in a name anyway? The formula on this is awesome, with nearly complete coverage in one coat, a super smooth application, and, as you can see in the photos, a gorgeous, shiny finish. I super recommend this for girls, like me, who don't love extreme reds as this is a softer way to go in that direction!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mani of the Day and a Giraffe

As promised, here is the first manicure from the polishes I picked up at Peninsula Beauty the other day. This one is Orly Rage over Essie Flawless. My diagonals are not perfect here as I just free-handed my use of Rage. If you wanted a more perfect line, you could use tape, scotch or nail tape, but when you use tape you have to make sure your first color is completely dry (and I mean let-dry-overnight level dryness) and I wasn't feeling very patient at the time. I am not a huge fan of flawless, it is a pretty pink, but doesn't really differentiate itself from the dozens of other pinks in my collection... but I am loving Rage. It is a champagne foil with a bit of a pink tint that really compliments my skintone and as you can see, it is really very shiny!

I also wanted to share this little guy with you that I picked up at Forever 21 today. Isn't he cute?!  You can pick up in gold or silver here. I am also very excited about the bright purple jeans that he is resting on in this pic! I have been lusting after some great colored jeans and I snatched these, along with a pair of turquoise ones, at F21 as well! 

Now only to find the perfect pair of red jeans before football season....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Polish Haul from Peninsula Beauty

This weekend I had a Groupon deal for $30 at Peninsula Beauty that was close to expiring so I headed over to my local shop to pick up some fancy beauty supplies. When I arrived I discovered 3 large bins full of polish for 50% off! Woo Hoo! Turns out that PB is replacing their Orly collection (they will continue selling the nail treatments) with China Glaze, which is a total thumbs up in my book. I have never really been all that interested in Orly polishes, I only had 3 before this haul. I always look at the Orly rack, but it just seems like none of the colors are unique. But who can resist a big ol' pile of discount polishes?? I walked away with a nice little haul ranging across the color and finish spectrum.

The colors I picked up, listed by brand, clockwise from the upper left corner are:
Orly: Ancient Jade, Rage, Kiss the Bride, and Terracotta
Essie: Real Simple, Looking for Love, and Flawless
OPI: Meep-Meep-Meep, Pepe's Purple Passion, Warm & Fozzie, and Last Friday Night

I'll be testing out these shades all week, so check back for swatches and manis to see what these polishes are all about!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Essie - Turquoise & Caicos

Featured as the base color in my last post, Turquoise and Red Polka-Dots, Essie's Turquoise & Caicos is among the most used polishes in my collection. This aqua shade that is truly reminiscent of the gorgeous oceans of the Caribbean is demure enough to wear to the office, yet its cheerful and bright demeanor is anything but mundane. Please forgive the slight tip wear seen in these photos as this manicure was a couple of days old when I got around to taking the pictures. If you work in an office where it's appropriate to wear polish other than nudes and neutrals, I definitely recommend giving this color a try, I guarantee that you will receive loads of compliments!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Turquoise and Red: Another Adventure in Polka-Dots

Today's manicure featuring turquoise and red polka-dots is brought to you by special request. This is not normally a combo that I would rock but I have had fun sporting it over the last few days. With a base of Turquoise & Caicos and dots of Russian Roulette, this Essie mani is what the mushrooms would look like in a Made-By-Melissa version of Mario, none of this plain-old red and white stuff. I think that next time I would do a coat of top coat in between the turquoise and the red as that might help a bit with the darkening that I experienced in the dots, but in the sunshine they still come through bright cranberry red, so it wasn't too much of a problem. Also, something to keep in mind when doing any kind of nail art when your colors are drastically different, make sure that your art paint doesn't get too tacky or you will end up with visible drag lines. You can see them a bit on my index finger, especially in the first picture. To avoid this, just make sure that you replenish your little puddle of polish between every few fingers!

Tiffy, this one is for you, I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not-at-all-Mellow Yellow

Happy Go Lucky is another polish from the Up and Away collection from spring 2010. This is definitely not an everyday polish, even for me. I much prefer the more subtle look of Lemon Fizz, but this bright yellow creme has a time and a place. In a very strange weather anomaly for June in California, it was freezing and rainy yesterday, so naturally it was the perfect time for a bright, sunny polish. Happy nails always pick up my spirits on a gloomy day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Currently Lusting - Turquoise Handbags

Turquoise Bags

MICHAEL Michael Kors michael kors tote, $350
Locking bag, $50
Tory Burch leather shoulder handbag, $536
Christian Louboutin mini handbag, $769

I am currently obsessing over having a turquoise leather handbag. It would just be such a wonderful way to add a pop of color to any outfit and is perfect for the summer months! I particularly like the Michael Kors one here but don't know when I will be willing to anty up 350 buckaroos for it. I would also drool over a turquoise Coach bag like they have sold in the past but unfortunately they don't have any in their current collection *tears*. For the meantime I will just continue to dream and fawn over ever aqua bag I see...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Glittering Stripes

Today we have more know how much I love glitter! Not only, do we have a glitter manicure for today - we have a Stripey glitter manicure. This is my first attempt at using nail tape to create a look and I think it turned out pretty well. However, I will definitely have to do more practicing with it before I am ready to use solid colors in my stripes. The glitter was definitely more forgiving than solids would be.

This mani was created with OPI's Sparrow Me The Drama, a dusty rose pink, layered with Wet N' Wild Hallucinate, an iridescent glitter that sparkles in a rainbow of colors. Using striping tape is definitely a bit more time-consuming and difficult than I anticipated, but I think that with practice it will get easier. The trick that took me a few go-rounds to figure is REALLY important to pull off the tape before the polish dries. If you wait too long some of the polish that you want to leave behind will pull up with the tape. This was really fun to sport around town so I challenge you to give stripes a try!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My DIY Polish Rack and Collection

As a polish hoarder, you can imagine that I have accumulated quite a collection over the years. In fact, at my last count I had 210 polishes... not including various topcoats and duplicate bottles of some of my favorites (not to mention a few bottles that are probably mysteriously stashed around my room). As my collection grew, the need for a reasonable storage solution became more and more imperative. At it's beginning my collection found it's home in a shoe box, they were upgraded to a larger hat box from there, and then to multiple drawers in one of those plastic chests of drawers you buy at Target. The problem that I had with all of these is that the polishes always just ended up in a big pile that made it very difficult to ever find the color that I was looking for and, over the years, there was more than one broken bottle incident.

Now I had seen a bunch of tutorials online for making your own polish shelf with foam board etc, but these things always looked so rickety that I can't believe that any of them lasted for very long. Therefore, I decided to just go for it and attempt to make my own polish display shelf out of a much more durable material... wood. I simply picked up some pre-cut hobby boards from Lowe's and with some nails, a hammer, and a bit of craft paint, came up with something that I am proud to hang on my wall and display my polishes.

This picture was taken on the day that I made it. As you can see, I have already filled it to the brim! Actually, there were a few polishes that didn't even make it up on the wall. So, alas, I guess it is time to build another. This is actually hung in a corner between the wall and the door to my closet, so my plan is to build another, identical one, and hang it on the other side of the corner.

This project was very cheap and I think that anyone could really do it. I already had the nails, hammer, and paint so all I had to do was buy the wood, which ended up being just about $20. Now, I went to Home Depot first, and just for the wood it was going to be closer to $40, so I definitely recommend hitting up your local Lowe's instead. Also, try to make sure that your boards are relatively equal in length. Even though they are sold as pre-measured and cut pieces I found that not all were created equal and it makes it a bit more challenging to fit the pieces in when some are slightly longer or shorter than others.

Also, make sure that you carefully measure out where your horizontal boards should go and do your best to stick to it. A few of my shelves ended up a bit crooked and they are definitely not all the same height, creating a situation where some of the taller bottles won't fit on just any shelf - very annoying.  I used L-shaped brackets to hang it on my wall - 2 on the top shelf and two on the bottom. Although, I think that on the next one I will put the brackets closer to edges as they caused the shelf to buckle slightly. I haven't found that this has caused any trouble with stability, it just doesn't look quite as perfect as my perfectionist self would like.

Anyway, I hope that this inspires some of you to get your polish in order and if there are any questions about  how I went about this just comment and I will do my best to answer!

Friday, May 25, 2012

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - Soft and Gentle Swatches

My tried and true Porcelain Pink mineralize skinfinish finally bit the dust last week. I had been scraping at the bottom of the pan for a couple of weeks trying to get every last bit of it, but I finally had to face that I just needed to buck up and go buy another. Unfortunately, MAC has nothing on the market currently that really compares with Porcelain Pink in any way. In fact, they don't seem to have anything out that has a pink base at all! So, I ended up pick up this Soft and Gentle, a more bronzy tan than I am used to, but I think it is rather appropriate for summer.

Soft and Gentle is a bit more glittery than I am used to, but it is not so much that I feel gaudy or like I couldn't wear it to the office. In fact, in addition to brushing it along my cheekbones and up around my eyes (think a "C" shape around the hollow of your eye) the added shimmer in this makes it perfect to do double duty as an eye shadow! In these pictures I have swatched it with no primer on the left, on top of a shimmer primer in the middle, and a matte primer on the right. As you can see, it makes a very pretty, shimmery eye shadow. 


These are a pretty penny, weighing in at $29 a pop, but in my opinion they are worth every cent. They give
you the most gorgeous glow and, with use everyday, my last one lasted almost a year. If you are lucky you can also occasionally find these at the Cosmetics Company Outlets at a discounted price. Anyway, I just love these, they are so silky smooth and versatile... I wish I could afford to pick up more colors :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Polka-dots

Nothing quite says fun and flirty like polka-dots and, when done in great summer colors like these, what is not to love?! These polka-dots are created with a base of Essie's California Coral spotted with Haute as Hello, two of my favorite summer colors from Essie.

What colors would you do the good ol' polka with?