Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Illusion Nail Art with KBShimmer and MoYou London

Good evening, dear reader, and happy hump day! I'm still fighting off a nasty cold that refuses to leave, and now both the kids seem to be sick as well. There is definitely a lot of truth in the expression "Mommas don't ever get sick days"! I'm just going to jump in on this post and keep it short, sweet, and to the point if that works for you.

In my previous post, I shared the four new custom nail polishes that KBShimmer created for the Hella Holo Customs Facebook group. While all four shades are spectacular, I wanted to play around with None of Your Bismuth further, and I created a fun nail art design with it.

I've been wanting to do something fun with the MoYou London Illusion - 09 stamping plate since I picked it up, and the complexity of None of Your Bismuth seemed the perfect accompaniment to the plate.

To create this simple look, I started out with KBShimmer's None of Your Bismuth. I then used Rica Blackout and stamped on the funky hexagonal design from the plate onto my nails. I then completed the look by outlining my nails with Blackout, keeping the angular look of the hexagons at my cuticles and nail tips.

It's not quite a look I would normally do on my nails, but I'm really loving it! I also couldn't think of better timing for this design as I don't use this nail shape often and the tips complement the stamped image so nicely!

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy nail art design! Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful night!

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Monday, February 13, 2017

KBShimmer Shades for Hella Holo Customs Facebook Group

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers! I hope this post finds you well! I have an exciting post to share with you so I'm going to keep the chitchat short and jump right on in to the good stuff.

I am a member of the Facebook group Hella Holo Customs. In the off chance you aren't familiar with the group, let me fill you in! Each month, the group submits inspiration photos and everyone votes on their favorite photo they want to be used for polish inspiration. The top photos are then assigned to different indie makers who then work their magic at creating a holographic polish. The polishes are only available for members of the group for a limited time, but it's easy to join with just a click of a button. This month, the fabulous indie brand, KBShimmer, has created four stunning holographic polishes to decorate your digits and captivate your attention. These polishes are truly a site to behold, so let's jump in and check them out!

Tall Pink of Water
Two coats plus top coat

When the sun sets, and the sky is just right, beautiful flashes of orange, fuchsia, magenta and dark purple fill the sky. This holo polish captures the bright fuchsia and magena tones of the sun's setting rays. This pink polish is packed with linear holo pigment for one of our strongest holos yet. Two coats recommended.

Retail: $10

Hello, gorgeous! I love a berry holo in general, but this one is something else entirely! It just dazzles with all the holo pigment and I just kept staring at my nails as I was swatching this beauty. One of the things I love about KBShimmer is the fantastic formula, so it should come as no surprise that the formula of Tall Pink of Water is perfection. It applied smoothly from the very first coat and is a must-have for any polish fan. 

Deep Hue Sea
Two coats plus top coat

Inspired by the shadows and fuchsia shades of sunset, Deep Hue Sea is a charcoal holo with strong violet pink shimmer, appearing almost a deep bruised purple in certain lights. In low lighting, it appears black, with pink and violet shimmer popping out, while in bright light, it looks more dark purple and pink with a strong linear holo. Two coats recommended.

Retail: $10

As much as I love my berry shades, I love these dark moody shades even more. I loved the vivid flashes of colour of violet as the light hit my nails, and with another winning formula, this is sure to win over any polish lover!

Shoe the Blues Away
Two coats plus top coat

Based on the glittery shoe, Shoe the Blues Away, a vibrant cobalt blue shade, is super holographic, with the holo pigment adding pops of lighter aqua against the deep blue color. Two coats recommended.

Retail: $10

I'm not sure why I don't wear blue holographic polish much any longer, but you can bet that I'll be wearing Shoe the Blues Away a lot! This polish is so striking on the nails! While I used two coats for opacity, I found the Shoe the Blues Away to be just a touch thicker than the other shades in this post, and if you tend to use heavier coats for application, you may find you only need to use a single coat for opacity. It still applies flawlessly and I am happy to recommend it to anyone!

None of Your Bismuth
Two coats plus top coat

Based on the multichrome crystal photo that captures a metallic rainbow of colors, this truly unique multichrome was blended with several different pigments to shift from a teal green, to aqua blue, to fuchsia pink and purple. This spectrum of color is accented by a strong linear holo. This polish is very unique, and it looks different in varying forms of light. If soft, indirect light, you see more of the greens and purples, while brighter light brings out the blues and holo. In sunlight, the holo really shines and the polish looks teal and green, and sometimes it appears almost like a dark navy. It really is amazing how many personalities this polish has. Two to three coats recommended.

Retail: $10.50

While all the shades in this post are exquisite, there is an eloquence in the complexity of None of Your Bismuth that makes this the must-have shade if you absolutely have to limit yourself to one polish. There are many dazzling polishes on the market to choose from, but when something of this magnitude comes along, you break your "no buy" and pick it up, especially since it won't be available for long. Sadly, these photos don't come even close to the beauty and complexity of None of Your Bismuth as my camera was apparently rendered incapacitated by its grandeur. I'm currently working on a nail art design with this beauty, and I'm hoping to get more of the colour shifts in those photos. Trust me, this is beautiful! It is a little sheerer than the other shades in this post, but I still was able to reach opacity with only two coats. If your nails are very long or if you paint with very thin coats, you may find a third coat is necessary.

These shades are officially available for purchase from the KBShimmer website now! Please note that prior to purchasing any of these shades, you must be a member of the Hella Holo Customs Facebook group; here is the link so you can come join in the fun! Once you have joined the group, you will be provided with the direct links to purchase these magnificent polishes.

International buyers can purchase these polishes directly from the KBShimmer website. They will then be sent to the Hella Holo Customs admin team, Dawn and Aubrey, who will then ship them out to the correct recipients. International buyers in Canada, Sweden, or the UK are welcome to join the HHC International Group Buy Facebook group, linked here, and have their orders shipped directly from their country.

Please note that these polishes are only available for purchase until February 28th. Again, these are only for members of the HHC Facebook group, and membership is verified. If you aren't already a member of the group, I hope you are willing to take the extra couple steps necessary to obtain these beauties. I can assure you, they are well worth it!

What do you these of these stunning polishes from KBShimmer? Do you have a favorite? I'd love to hear from you!

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

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Absolute New York Makeup Review and Looks

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Sunday! I hope this post finds you well and you have been enjoying the weekend. I had hoped to get this up earlier, but I've been really sick, and while the fog has finally lifted so I can attempt coherent sentences, I'm definitely not even close to 100%. I'll do my best, but please pardon any grammatical errors! Now to today's post!

Earlier this month, I shared a post featuring my beauty finds from the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach. One of the brands I showcased in the post was Absolute New York. I had picked up a few products to test out, and for today's blog post, I wanted to share my opinions with you. Let's jump on in!

I picked up two shades from three different lipstick formulas.  

From the Intense Lip Polish line, I picked up Cherry Bomb and Fancy Fuchsia. Can I say just how much I love these colours? These shades are so perfect for sunny days if winter ever lets up, although I have to admit it has been sunny this weekend, not that I've been able to enjoy it. These are nicely pigmented and have a thick glossy consistency. I usually am hit or miss with this type of lip product, especially since I find most to be irritatingly sticky, but I liked the consistency of these. The colour lasted quite some time on my lips as well. There was definitely colour transfer onto my tea cup, but I still had a respectable amount of colour on my lips with no reapplication needed for quite some time. I do recommend wearign lipliner with these to keep feathering off the lips under control.

The Matte Stick Lipsticks in Bulgarian Rose and Sangria are nice, but I wouldn't say they are a full "matte" look, especially since there are other true matte lip products on the market. The lipsticks are a little on the firmer side, but they still apply easily and leave a demi-matte look on the lips. They also had surprising lasting power on the lips as well. I'm personally not fond of the flat appearance of most matte lip products, so I'm happy to see these have just a the tiniest whisper of glossiness to give them a little more dimension.

I also picked up Gorgeous and Gypsy from the Ultra Slick Lipstick lineup although I'm not sure why the line isn't showing up on their website. I loved the creaminess and colour of these, but to be honest, I wish I looked at the names prior to purchasing them. This is a beauty blog so I don't wish to get into semantics, but "gyspy" is a derogatory slur, and I would have picked up another shade had I realized the name earlier.

Another item I picked up to test was the Icon Palette in Smoked. This palette comes with 12 sultry shades to create your perfect smokey eye, a very large mirror, and a dual-ended eyeshadow brush. The first thing I noticed when I bought this palette was the name of the palette is not actually on the casing anywhere. I was able to ensure I picked up the correct palette by the item number on it, but I have this odd need to have the official name imprinted somewhere on the item if there is an official name rather than a long serial number. It's totally petty, I know, but I like being able to refer to the names in the future, and let's be honest- I have enough makeup I'm not always the best at keeping the palette names stuck in my head. I don't think this should sway your opinions on this palette, but it really bugs me so I'm just putting it out there for those that share my in my neurosis. 

I used my fingers to create these swatches on my arm. These colours are have some serious pigmentation! While they went on pretty easily with my finger, I'm going to be brutally honest here and say the dual-ended brush is garbage. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect to be "wowed" by a brush that came in a 12-shadow palette for only $15, but this brush is just that bad, and there is no way I can sugar coat it to make it sound less bad. It didn't pick up the shadows well and was just more coarse than I would like for the delicate eye area. The tapered end was exceptionally firm, far more so than I find necessary for an eyeshadow brush, and the blending end just made my eyes itch without any sign of blending. Seriously, you don't want to relie on this brush to apply these shadows.

As for the eyeshadows themselves, I'm still not entirely sure how I would rate them. They are pigmented for sure, and I love that part! The colours stayed on my eyelids all day long and there was very minimal fallout in application. That being said, there is a very big BUT..... these do not blend easily at all and look patchy on the eyelids without it. I gave up using the poor quality brush they included in this palette, and even using my beloved eyeshadow brushes, I had a very difficult time getting these shadows to play nicely for me. I easily spent twice the amount of time working on my eye looks with this palette (which are a little further down in this post) to get a decent looking blend I was comfortable wearing outside the house. If you are an eyeshadow "dabber" that just pops on the colour here and there to create a look, I think you'd be happy overall with this palette. If you have any desire to blend, this palette will test your patience and make you want to throw it in the trash. I'm holding onto this one since it seems to work well for me in lieu of traditional eyeliners, but I don't think I have the fortitude to use it as eyeshadow again and have the restraint to not toss it in the garbage bin.

The final product I picked up to test was the Illuminating 3D Liquid Highlighter in Spotlight! I am definitely a powder girl when it comes to highligher, but the beautiful pearlescent shimmer of Spotlight! caught my attention and I had to give it a try. It is a beautiful colour, and I love the touch of reflection on my face when applied lightly. I found this shade to be a little too light for me to be comfortable wearing more than just the lightest dab, but there is no denying how lovely this illuminator is on the face! Absolute New York does have a darker shade named Afterglow, but I found it to look too dark for me at the show so I passed on it. I do like the look and softness of Spotlight! so I'll just use it sparingly and have it last a long time.

Now for the looks I created using these products!

Eyeshadows used: Baby Blanc, Heather, Debutante, Mocha, and Truffle

Matte Stick: Sangria

Eyeshadows used: Haze, Static, Stormy, Heartache, Crater, and LBD 

Intense Lip Polish: Fancy Fuchsia

I had hoped to have more looks for this post, but after fighting so much with the eyeshadows and then getting sick, I'm afraid this is all I have to today's post. Hopefully it is still helpful for you if you are thinking of trying out this brand! 

Have you tried any products from Absolute New York? If so, what have you liked? Are there any you recommend I try or stay away from? I'd love to hear from you!

Now I'm off to get some rest! Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Giveaway: Win the KBShimmer LE Duo Created for my 5th Blogiversary!

Greetings, dear readers! I'm keeping this post short and sweet- it's all about a giveaway! I have a few sets of the KBShimmer duo created for my blogiversary that I shared earlier this week here that I want to giveaway. I have two separate giveaways going on- one here on my blog and one on Instagram, so that's 2 different ways to win this fabulous set!

I Never Wood Have Guessed and It's Petrifying will be available for purchase at The Indie Shop event in Atlanta March 11th as well as on the KBShimmer website with the spring launch in limited supply, but here is your chance to get them earlier. Open internationally to participants age 18 years and older, please! Enter in Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

That's a Wrap: January 2017 Empties

Another month over and it's time for another empties blog post! This is coming a little later than I had hoped, but with getting back to town the beginning of the month after some travel delays, it's taken a few extra days for me to catch up with my normal routine. I have an assortment of products I finished up in January and share my thoughts about; let's jump on in!

Here's the obligatory group shot of all my empties. Usually when I write these posts, I always seem to think I have nothing yet for the current month and yet by the end, I still have a handful of items to share. Right now I have zero empties for February, but we'll see if that changes in the next few weeks. This is what I finished up in January.

Scent: You're One in a Melon

I wish it were possible to turn back the clock if only so I could use this delicious macaroon bath bomb a second time! These bath bombs are da bomb, and I'm definitely going to be picking up more when I've worked a little more through my stash of bath products. The scent was scrumptious, and my skin felt so soft when I got out of the bath.

I have a secret: my non-swatch hand, or "Cindy" (for Cinderella) hand as many in the polish community refer to it, is not in the greatest shape. It's always the hand that seems to take the brunt of the cuts and broken nails, and I admit I'm a little ashamed of it. I bought OPI's Nail Envy to see if it would strengthen my nails enough to withstand my abuse, but after finishing up this bottle, I'm not sure there is hope for poor Cindy. My nails are still short and *gasp* a bit uneven due to breaks. I just don't think this is up to snuff when it comes to wrangling my active tykes and I need to invest in something more substantial. If you've had great results with this, I'd love to hear otherwise!

Scent: Passionfruit Kiss

I admit it, I have a love/hate relationship with Bath & Body Works. I enjoy a lot of the scents, but in the end, the products are a little lacking in quality. I love the lather of the shower gel and basking in the scent, but it leaves my skin a little drier than I would like from my bath products. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a total sucker for their awesome deals and will likely pick more up to add to my stash, but these really aren't worth the full asking price. I actually picked these up before I got pregnant with my second child, and I couldn't use these while pregnant or quite some time afterwards. I found the smell too strong and they irritated my ultra-sensitive hormonal skin. I've since been able to use and finish these (obviously), but I'm not really liking the scent much like I did when I purchased these. I wasn't really anticipating a change in scent preference after pregnancy, so that was an interesting surprise.

I actually held on to one of these to add to my empties post! As I'm sure you can imagine, I use A LOT of cotton pads with polish removal, and I picked up a large pack of these from Costco awhile back. Of course I think I found four of them in various stages of use while reorganizing my swatch room. I prefer these over cotton balls and will have to be picking up another set from Costco in the not-too-far future.

While it isn't exactly "empty", it has been two months since I opened this mascara and it's time to toss it. I reviewed the Bellimisa mascara on my blog here, and I'm very likely to sign up for their subscription plan when I work through my mountain of mascaras. This is one of the better mascaras I've used in a long time, and I am really sad to see it go, but keeping my eyes healthy and avoiding infections is higher on my list of priorities. At least most of the mascaras I have left are smaller sample sizes so I should use them up quickly and get back to my beloved Bellimisa soon, right? Silver lining?

Scent: Pina Colada

I've found that when it comes to bath products, indie brands seem to do it best. Soak It! is a Canadian-based brand, but don't let the extra time or cost in shipping deter you from trying this brand. I've used many products from the brand, and while most are fantastic, this one was a little bit of a letdown. The bubble bar just crumbled up but stayed in chunks in spite of my trying to break them up more. The bubbles were almost nonexistent no matter how much I tried to swish them up, but I loved the smell. I'm not sure that I'd pick another bubble bar up from the brand without there being reformulation, but I still love them for their other products. The shop is temporarily closed right now due to some health issues the owner is having, but send some healthy vibes her way and sign up to be notified with the shop reopens.

Oh, towelettes, I see we meet again! The holiday season in particular had me coming and going like crazy, and I used these at a faster rate than I normally do. It always seems to come in spurts, doesn't it? While these aren't my favorite product to clean my face, they work quickly to remove my makeup when I am exhausted and just want to pass out for the night. If nothing else, I am diligent about making sure to never go to bed wearing makeup, and having these on hand makes that so much easier! If you aren't familiar with the brand, these came from Coscto and I've got a few more packs to go through yet. I haven't really decided if I want to commit to another box when it comes to replacing them, so if you have good facial towelette suggestions, let me know!

Scent: Vanilla & Peppermint

I know, I know, another cuticle oil. I seem to have addiction tendencies when it comes to cuticle oil, but it keeps my nails looking fantastic. Well, on my swatch hand anyway. My poor, poor Cindy..... Anyway, this is part of my cuticle oil stash I found cleaning up my work space, and I opted to save it for use around the holidays due to the scent. I really love the look of the Glisten & Glow rollerball containers, and I enjoy the formulas as well. Now if only I can convince Jill to sell her cuticle oils in refill sizes..... I'm not a big fan of either vanilla or peppermint in general, but I do like them combined around the holidays.

Because I can't resist- And that's a wrap! This concludes my post of my January empties post! Coming up on the blog very soon is a giveaway so be sure to follow me on social media for an announcement on when that starts.

Have you used any of these products? Are there any you like or loathe? I'd love to hear from you!

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

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