Monday, January 30, 2012

Revlon Whimsical

Is this not the perfect baby shower color? I love it, but all it makes me think of is baby shower cupcakes :P This is two coats of Revlon Whimsical over two coats of Zoya Kristen. The second photo in this post is the more color-accurate of two. 

Whimsical is a sheer light blue jelly with blue and pink hex glitter and tiny blue glitter. The glitter is kind of difficult to maneuver, but it's not anything a little bit of patience won't cure. The best part? This is supposedly a dupe for an $18 Deborah Lippmann polish!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Zoya Maisie Matte

I don't know how it is that I always forget I have a matte topcoat, but I barely ever use it. It's really unfortunate too because gorgeous stuff like this happens with it! This is two coats of Dr.'s Remedy NOBLE Navy with one coat of Zoya Maisie and Essie Matte About You. The flakies in Maisie look green like this most of the time, but in certain lighting situations, they turn to a gorgeous shade of aqua that was really hard to capture. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zoya Petra w/Spectraflair

Soooo as I was mindlessly browsing around on the internet this weekend, I came across a post somewhere (don't ask me where because I haven't the slightest idea) where it was discussed that topping Zoya Petra with a Spectraflair topcoat turns it into an almost perfect dupe of the highly coveted and VHTF original formula of OPI My Private Jet. I wish I had MPJ to compare this to in person, but from what I can tell in other people's swatches, it looks pretty close. 

This is two thick coats of Zoya Petra with one coat of Spectraflair topcoat. Regardless of whether or not this is a dupe of MPJ, it is gorgeous! I love Petra by itself, but the holo topcoat makes it absolutely amazing. It actually reminds me of a more linear version of Color Club Revvvolution.

These photos are all done with an artificial daylight bulb, not in actual sunlight. I wanted to see this outside really badly, but it's been snowing and there is no sunlight to be found. Anyway, can those of you who are lucky enough to have MPJ attest to how close this is? I would appreciate your opinions! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pink Dry Brush Mani

The inspiration for this mani came from Lindsey at Neverland Nail Blog who created this gorgeous design. While mine is no where near as beautiful as hers, I am very pleased with how it turned out and how easy it was to create. If you would like to read about how it's done, Lindsey has created a helpful tutorial.

I used three coats of Julep Penelope as a base (Orly Kiss the Bride would probably be a close replacement) and when that was dry, I took a dry brush and painted swipes of Color Club Foil Me Once and Orly Dazzle. I added a pink rhinestone to my ring finger nails, but I'm not sure if it was really necessary or not. I love how this turned out!

NOTE: Some of you may be aware that I provide my referral link at the bottom of all posts that mention Julep, but I no longer feel comfortable referring people to their program due to recent events. My referral link has therefore been removed from my sidebar and all posts regarding Julep in hopes that I will no longer generate traffic (and therefore profit) to their page.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Julep Blake & Heather

These are the two polishes that came in January's Boho Glam Maven box. Blake is a creamy, light yellow shade that needed three coats to be opaque and non-streaky. When I saw this in the bottle, I thought for sure that I would hate it. However, I ended up being really happy with it on my nails. I don't know what it is about this shade of yellow, but it works for me. 

The second color, Heather, is part of Julep's newest collection for Spring. Heather is a slightly frosty, taupe brown metallic shimmer. I used three coats here as well and wasn't as crazy about this one as I thought I would be. It's a beautiful color, but it just didn't excite me very much on the nail.

EDIT (as of 1/22): Some of you may be aware that I provide my referral link at the bottom of all posts that mention Julep, but I no longer feel comfortable referring people to their program due to recent events. My referral link has therefore been removed from my sidebar and all posts regarding Julep in hopes that I will no longer generate traffic (and therefore profit) to their page. I have one last post that uses Julep polish because I already did the mani and I love it, but after that, there will be no more posts about Julep on this blog. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Julep Olivia

I've wanted to try more tape manis soooo bad lately, so I ordered striping tape from Hong Kong and after a few weeks of waiting patiently (riiiiight), my package finally came! Julep Olivia also came in the mail today, so I decided to use it in my abstract tape design mani. 

I did two coats of Olivia on all my nails except my ring nail, on which I applied one coat of Color Club Perfect Mol-ten. My bottle of Olivia was a little thick, so I added some polish thinner and it applied perfectly after that. I cut up some pieces of striping tape, arranged them randomly, and painted one thick coat of Olivia over them. I'm so happy with how this turned out and I can't wait to do more manis like this! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another $25 for $50 Bloom deal!

Hey ladies, just thought I'd share for those who missed out on the deal on PlumDistrict. Here's another one on Bloomspot!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Girly Bits Denim Diva

Have I made it clear to all of you just how much I love the color blue? Here is a gorgeous blue brought to you by the creator of Girly Bits nail polish, Pam. Denim Diva is a beautiful medium blue shimmer polish that I am absolutely in love with. The formula is perfect and I used three thin coats here. There's not much to say other than GO BUY THIS!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Girly Bits Street Magic

I'm not sure if anything I have to say could really do this one justice, so let's just get right to the photos! This is one coat of Girly Bits Street Magic over two coats of Julep Trina, a deep purple shimmer. As you can see by this first photo, Street Magic generally shifts between yellow and green.

Here's a bit more yellow/gold than the first photo shows:

And when the light hits it just right, you get this gorgeous rusty orange/red shade of shimmer to appear! I wore this mani for four days and even on the fourth day, I was still catching myself moving my hands around and staring at the awesome color shifts.

Have I convinced you to go buy some Girly Bits polishes yet?! I hope so! You can use the links below to check out what shades Pam is offering at the moment and to learn how to order.

You can view polishes that are available to order here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January Julep Maven Box

I'm happy to report that I finally got my January Maven box after all the holiday commotion at the post office calmed down. I was SO excited for the colors in this one since they were so tropical-looking in the preview e-mail. The colors I received in my It Girl box were: Hayden, Leah, and Megan. I also received a complimentary nail therapy (which I love!) and a nail polish remover pad that I was really interested to try out. 

I used the nail polish remover pad to take off my mani before I swatched these polishes and it did work very well. It's basically a piece of red felt that has been soaked in polish remover and packaged up. The package says that you will be able to remove polish from all ten nails with one pad and that is actually a true statement. There were two downfalls to the pad though. Firstly, it smelled horrendously strong! Secondly, it left little red fuzzies on some of my nails, which to me is not really a problem because I wash my hands before I paint anyway, but this might bother some people. I would definitely pack some of these if I was traveling and wanted to save space and safely bring polish remover. 

Now on to the polishes... First up is the beautiful Leah, a gorgeous grass green shade with silver shimmer.  Leah needed two coats to be fully opaque and non-streaky. I didn't expect to like this shade of green very much, but I was really blown away when I put it on.

Megan, an aquamarine metallic polish, is next. Out of the three polishes, I was most excited for Megan when I got my preview e-mail, but I was disappointed when I actually wore it. Maybe it's because I have loads of blue polishes and it really takes something special to wow me. That's not to say that Megan isn't pretty, because it is, but it was just missing that "wow factor" for me. I had to use three coats for full opacity.

Lastly is the stunning neon peach creme that is Hayden. If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, you might recognize Hayden from an old post where it was named Amanda. Not sure what prompted the name change, but thankfully Julep kept the color the same! I love this shade so much, but I will say that it looks better on me when I have a bit of a tan. I used two coats of Hayden and I would also like to point out that, being a neon, it is a bit brighter in person than in my photo.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Nail Care Routine

I have been asked by multiple people to write a post about how I take care of my nails, so here it is! I'm sorry that it has taken me so long! I'm going to include all my moisturizers and why I like them, but since my nails are natural, I'm also going to include some of the nail treatments I use as well. First is a photo of all my moisturizing/hydrating products in the order that I generally use them:

1. Remove+: I LOVE Zoya's Remove+. It works just as well as pure acetone, but doesn't dry my nails and skin out. Plus, the flipper container is super convenient. I plan on using the flipper bottle to make a knock-off remover (8oz acetone and 1 tsp glycerin) when I finish the Remove+ that's in it. The homemade version is much cheaper and super easy to make, but just as effective. 

2. Hoofer's Choice: I bought this cream at CVS when I first started doing my nails a lot because I was using normal polish remover and it was really drying my cuticles out. I ended up really liking it, so I still use it now for extra moisturizing. After I remove my polish, I rub a small amount of this cream into my cuticles and let it sit for a little while (maybe 5ish minutes, or however long I can sit there patiently). Then, I gently push my cuticles back with my nails (I know I'm not supposed to use my nails as tools, but it's so much easier). Before I start painting again, I wash my hands with soap and water and towel dry them, making sure to wipe all the cream off my nails. 

3. Julep Essential Cuticle Oil: I'm not shy about my love for this product. It has a rollerball cap, which means it is virtually mess-free and it smells soooo good! I generally use this about 20 minutes before I'm ready to go to sleep; I apply it and then lay in bed on my computer for a while to let it have some time to soak in. 

4. Avon Intensive Moisture Lotion/cotton gloves: Fun fact: my mom used to sell Avon, so we have tons of this stuff laying around, luckily for me! This is a really, really thick lotion that is perfect for dry winter skin. Right before I go to sleep (after the cuticle oil), I squeeze about a dime-sized amount of lotion in my palm and rub it into my hands and nail area. Some nights, I wear a pair of cotton gloves to bed to help moisturize even more, but I don't always do that.

1. Nail Envy - Sensitive & Peeling: A while ago, I started having a problem with my nails peeling at the tips. It was really frustrating because my manis would only last for a day or two without chipping. Someone suggested NE - S&P to me and I'm so glad I decided to try it. I used it as a base coat under my manis and it stopped my peeling completely after a few weeks.

2. Nail Envy - Original: After my peeling stopped, I decided I wanted to try to grow my nails longer than I usually do and I asked for Original Nail Envy for Christmas. I haven't used much of it yet but it seems like it makes my nails stronger while I'm wearing it at least.

3. Julep Nail Therapy: I have a couple bottles of Nail Therapy, so I've been using it as a base coat under most of my manis and it seems to work pretty well for maintaining healthy nails as well.

1. Zoya Anchor: When I really want my manis to last, I use Anchor for my base coat. It obviously works very well with Zoya polishes, but it extends the life of most of my other brands as well. I bought this bottle with my last voucher from Bloom.

2. Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat: Hands down the best top coat I've ever used. SV dries super quick (like in minutes) and leaves the most glossy, gorgeous finish on any mani. It's only downfall is the shrinkage it causes with some brands, notably Zoya.

3. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat: The Zoya-shrinkage-problem was remedied by this Sally Hansen top coat. It doesn't dry quite as fast or glassy as SV, but I'm still very happy with it. Thanks to Pam from Pam's Girly Bits for suggesting it to me!

So, there it is. Kudos to you if you actually read the whole thing! I hope this answers most, if not all, of your questions, but if it doesn't, please feel free to send me an e-mail at and I'll answer it as quickly as I can. I might even start an FAQ page if there is enough interest. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Girly Bits Sailor's Delight & Purple Potion

Good morning! I have a few more Girly Bits polishes to show you today! First up is Sailor's Delight, a beautiful and squishy orange jelly polish with golden micro-shimmer. I did three coats of polish for the photos, but I think in the future I will layer this over an orange base polish that is more opaque since I could still see VNL at three coats. Regardless, this is a gorgeous shade and it makes me wish it was summer here!

Next is the awesome purple glitter that is Purple Potion. My photo does not do this one justice. It is soooo sparkly in person! Purple Potion has a bunch of different glitter pieces, like blue, pink, copper and holo ones too. You can't see the holo pieces in my photo, but they make this polish incredible.

Pam has an incredible talent for creating unique and exciting nail polishes with formulas that rival some of the larger brands on the market. I can't wait to see what she comes up with in 2012!

You can view polishes that are available to order here.
You can order Girly Bits polishes here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Julep Intro Box Giveaway Winner!

Hello everyone! I'm happy to report that I was able to organize the entries today and choose a winner for the Julep Maven Intro Box giveaway. And the winner is...

PolishedMom!! I have contacted her and she has 48 hours to respond before I pick another winner! Thank you all so much for entering and I hope you'll stick around and continue to enjoy my blog! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a-england Tristam

I've had this baby for a loooong time and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. a-england Tristam is a gorgeous scattered blue holo that is amazing in the sunlight. Seriously, my photos don't do it justice. Let's get on to the pictures, shall we?

I used two easy coats of Tristam for this mani and two coats of Dr.'s Remedy SERENE Silver Glitter on my accent nail. This macro shot still only shows a fraction of Tristam's beauty, but here it is:

I bought a-england Tristam from our very own stateside stockist, Llarowe. Llarowe carries A England polishes, as well as Glitter Gal, Ozotic, HITS, and most recently, Lynnderella. She is an amazing seller and you won't regret making a purchase from her! You can check Llarowe out HERE.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Zoya True Comparisons

I had a request for some different comparisons of the new Zoya True collection, so here they are! This first photo shows (from left to right) Julep Trina and Zoya Tru, Neeka, and Lotus

Here they are from another view. From top to bottom: Lotus, Neeka, Tru, Julep Trina. Neeka and Lotus are definitely the closest, but you can see that Neeka is a big darker and has bigger gold shimmer, where Lotus has small pink/red shimmer.

And here is Zoya Bevin on the left and OPI Mermaid Tears on the right. Mermaid Tears is brighter and lighter and more of a true seafoam green. Bevin is much dustier. I hope this was a useful post!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Zoya True and Fleck Effect Collections

As you probably saw from the press release yesterday, the True collection consists of four shimmer/metallics and two cremes. The Fleck Effect collection consists of three flakie topcoats that can be worn alone, but really look awesome when used as a layering polish over other colors. I used three thin coats of polish for the True collection swatches. The swatches with the Fleck Effect polishes each have one coat over the True colors.

The first polish in the True collection is Cho, which Zoya describes as a vanilla shimmer metallic. I'm not sure where the metallic comes in, but the shimmer is subtle and lovely. I don't know how much this shade does for my skin, but I love it anyway!

Up next is Farah, my least favorite of the bunch. I don't have a whole lot to say for this one, but it applied nicely and is a good beige-y neutral, just not for my skin tone.

Now here comes the more colorful shades in the collection, starting with Bevin. Bevin is a gorgeous sage green creme that was an unexpected favorite for me. I'm just starting to appreciate green shades on me and this is a great one to have! It looks bright under my strong lamplight, but shows more muted and dusty in weaker light.

And now for your first taste of flakies! Here is one coat of Opal, which holds green flakies in a green base, over Bevin. I. LOVE. THIS. I really wasn't sure if I was on the flakie train or not, but Zoya, you sealed my fate. The subtle side of flakies is awesome! As you can see, Opal is moderately dense on the first coat and (you'll have to take my word for it) builds up nicely with two or three.

Next up is Skylar, a lovely slate blue shade with tons of silver shimmer. I'm a sucker for blue, so this is an obvious winner for me. I really don't even know what to say other than to call it gorgeous, but I feel like I'm becoming a broken record. Better get used to it because the best is yet to come! ;)

Here I layered one coat of Maisie, which has green flakies in a blue base, over Skylar. I love this combination too; it kind of has a mermaid-y look about it. I like the angle of this photo a lot too.

Once I started swatching this collection, I knew I was going to have a hard time choosing a favorite, but as I'm looking through these photos, I know that Tru is it. Check out this photo and tell me how you could possibly not be in love with it. Tru is an absolutely stunning shade of purple with what appears to be gold and possibly pinkish shimmer. I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!

The last, but certainly not least, polish in the True collection is Lotus. I love the name and I love the color. Lotus is a light, faded purple shade with unmistakable pink shimmer throughout. You guys probably think I'm nuts for being this head over heels for something subtle like shimmer, but I'm crazy for it.

The last of the Fleck Effect polishes is Chloe, which is a pink base with gold and green flakies. I tried layering Chloe over Cho and the effect was pretty and subtle, but it was much less impressive than when I layered it over Lotus, as seen below. Love love love love love.

The formula on all of these polishes was consistent and great. I needed three thin coats of each for full opacity (except the flakies), but each coat dried very quickly and applied very smoothly. The True and Fleck Effect collections will be available for purchase on January 13th, 2012 at They retail at $8.00 a bottle. Which ones will you be getting?

Ultra long-wearing, glossy nail lacquers by Zoya are free of harmful industrial chemicals like toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) that are known to cause cancer and birth defects.
*The product(s) in this post were sent to me for an honest review.*

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Zoya True and Fleck Press Releases

Excited?! I am! These will be available for purchase on January 13, 2012 at