Monday, December 5, 2016

Royal Blue and Gold Nail Art With Born Pretty Store Stamping

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Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope your week is off to a great start! This weekend flew by and I got a lot of work accomplished! I made some serious headway on my holiday gifting craft projects, and I'm hoping to finish up one of them tonight for my monkey-loving toddler niece. I'd share details, but I know her momma occasionally pops in here so I'm going to have to keep that a secret, but trust me, it's awesome! I also was able to get a little nail art done, and I wanted to share my look with you today. Let;s jump on in!
I have this beautiful stamping plate BP-43 from Born Pretty Store (which, by the way, is on clearance for only $0.79 here so now is a good time to pick it up!). All the images on this plate are lovely, but the holiday star, tree, and swirls just begged to be used in the latest When Colours Collide challenge. The prompt from the Facebook group was royal blue and gold, and it all paired together beautifully! Let's check out my manicure!

I started off with Ellagee Heart of the Indie, a gorgeous custom shade Laura created for her blogger team, as my base. I then stamped the beautiful star, tree, and swirled pattern with Girly Bits Cosmetics Golden Ticket. The combination is magnificent, and this image stamped perfectly for me! The only thing that could possibly make this manicure better was to make it matte....which I did!

I added a coat of Girly Bits Cosmetics Polish Matte'rs to really let the microflakes of the blue pop and bring the gold stamping polish to life. While I usually prefer shiny nails, this is one of those times where I am so glad I opted to go with a matte finish!

As I mentioned previously, this stamping plate is available on clearance here. It's a great plate since it has this beautiful image as well as other non-seasonal images. While at the Born Pretty Store site, check out all they have to offer for your nail art needs! You can even save 10% off your full-priced items with discount code QWL-91.

I really loved the colour prompt for this challenge, and I wanted to include the collage of all the nail art looks created with the prompt. The next one is red and green, and you are more than welcome to join us if you so desire!

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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ever After Eyeshadows

Happy Saturday, dear readers! It was an early day around here since my toddler decided he just couldn't let his momma sleep in. I opted to just jump in on the day and we went to pick up donuts for the rest of the sleeping family and a large cup of coffee for me. All things considered, I'd say it has been an excellent day so far! Now to stop rambling and get my post written!

I've been a fan of Ever After Polish since I discovered the brand not too long after its launch, and I have been happy to watch the brand develop and add more products to the brand lineup in addition to nail polish. One of the more recent additions to the brand are gorgeous eyeshadows, and I have a few of them to share with you this morning. After confirming with Miranda, one of the makers behind the dynamic duo, that these eyeshadows were both eye AND lip safe, it was game on. Let's check out some of the colours and how I used them!

Once Upon a Dream: Burgundy with gold shimmer
over Trestique Chile Red

First eyeshadow up and it's on my lips! Once Upon a Dream is a gorgeous colour that looks fabulous as the intended eyeshadow, but with my toddlers severely impacting my sleep lately, it really exacerbates my tired eyes in spite of ample concealer use. Instead, I opted to wear in on my lips. I started off with Trestique Matte Lip Crayon in Chile Red, a beautiful bright red hue. This particular lip crayon has the tendency to feather without lipliner and doesn't have the lasting power I would like, and I opted to add a light dusting of Ever After's Once Upon a Dream to give me both the deeper colour I wanted and to help keep it in place longer. I wasn't too sure what to expect when I tried it out, but I am happy to report that this lip crayon stayed on for several hours because of the layering technique! I've got a rather sizable collection of red lipsticks (I just love the colour so much!) and I suspect Once Upon a Dream has just signed itself up to forever add gorgeous depth and sparkle to my lips.

Tale As Old As Time: 24Kt gold shimmer

Check it out! I actually am capable of putting eyeshadow on my eyes! Haha! Seriously though, Tale As Old As Time is such a beautiful golden hue, and it is going to be a staple in my holiday makeup looks this month! I have it shown here over my hooded *grumble* eyes by itself (other than eyeliner and mascara, of course) so you could really appreciate the shade. I wore this for a day look so I opted to not built it up, but you can definitely do so if you would like. Alternately, you can layer this over a super light base or pale primer (mine is closer to my skin colouring) or apply wet for even more KAPOW on your eyes.

Tale As Old As Time 
Center accent over MAC Cosmetics Cremesheen lipstick in Obi Orange

Another fun use for Tale As Old As Time is to add it over a lipstick for a glorious golden kiss on your pucker, pun intended! I opted to place it over the center of my lips here for a sunset-inspired look that was fun, but still very much wearable. You can definitely play around with shadow placement and layering to get a very different look. Now that I'm writing this post, I'm actually surprised I haven't paired this together with Once Upon a Dream on my lips yet! I guess I know how I'm doing my makeup tomorrow.....

Leather: Dark almost black used for shading and lining
Dreamer: Icy silver with a hint of blue and white sparkle
Lace: Ivory with just a hint of pink

I used Leather as my eyeliner for both the top and bottom, and I also added in Dreamer along the inner portion of my lower lash line for a brighter pop of colour.

I also used Dreamer on my eyelids, and while it was much more obvious to the eye, my camera somehow managed to cancel it out substantially. You can still see slight hints of the icy hue on my eyelid, but I am not happy with how it photographed. In addition to using it as eyeliner, Leather also went into my crease for a not-the-most-successful cut-crease look. It definitely was placed too low to be seen, especially since I have hooded eyes, but that is entirely my fault and has no bearing on the eyeshadow itself. I'm going to have to redo this eye look and actually make it look more finished as I was rushed to snap a couple photos and then run out the door. I used Lace to highlight my browbone.
And here is my "yuck, not another selfie" face of my final look with the previous eyeshadow combination. Next time it's getting paired with a different lippie as well!

These and other eyeshadows can be picked up at the Ever After website located here. There are currently 10 shades to choose from, including the brand new shades Naughty and Nice. I have no clue what the new colours look like, but I still bought them on Black Friday so share with you when they arrive. Each colour retails for $8.

Have you tried any of the Ever After eyeshadows or other non-polish products? Do you have any favorites? I'd love to hear from you!

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

Nail Art Featuring China Glaze Seas and Greetings, Part 2

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TGIF, dear readers! This week has certainly felt like a long one since last week was so short, and I am so happy that the weekend is just about here! I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune soon as it gets closer to Christmas and I hit crunch time trying to finish up gifts I am making this year. I currently have 10 different projects in various stages of not-yet-done, and I am hoping to get a couple of them finished this weekend. Now on to today's blog post!
In my previous post, I shared two nail art designs I created using the China Glaze Seas and Greetings Collection. China Glaze went with a different take on the winter and holidays this year, and while it may not be for everyone, I personally love anything beachy so I think it's great. I have two more looks to share with you today; let's check them out! First up, with a "seas" and greetings collection, I NEEDED a look reminiscent of the ocean.

I naturally had to check the stamping qualities of the China Glaze creams, and I am happy to report that they stamp really well! I wanted this look to capture some of my favorite things about a beach vacation from collecting shells on the beach, sunbathing, and just watching the movement of the water.
Colours used: Good Tide-ings, 'Tis the Sea-Sun, and Joy to the Waves

I also used MoYou London stamping images from plates Sailor 05 and 06 and Born Pretty Store BP-23. 

The Seas and Greeting Collection is a lot of fun to play with, especially since depending on the combination of colours you use, you can get a very different "feeling" for your nail art. I went ultra-feminine with my second look for today's post. Check it out!
While I'm not generally a huge fan of incorporating hearts into my nail art designs, I do like this look of hearts on my accent nail paired with the simplicity of the overall design.
Colours used: Let's Shell-Ebrate, Seas and Greetings, and Eat, Pink, Be Merry.

Both the pink and the glitter are pretty sheer on their own so I painted a few coats on a mat, let them dry completely, and cut out my hearts. This way I could ensure the polish was opaque enough to be seen easily against the base without having to paint multiple coats on the nail while having it retain the shape. By the way, cutting teeny tiny hearts for on the nail sounds a lot easier than it really is! Or maybe my fingers are just too big and awkward.....

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 between these and designs in my previous post? I'd love to hear from you!

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

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!