Monday, July 22, 2013

Born Pretty Store Nail Foil Review

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and great Monday thus far! Today's post features nail foils from Born Pretty Store. I had seen photos of these over black polish so I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to apply these over OPI Oy-Another Polish Joke!
To apply these foils, I first applied one coat of polish and let it dry completely. After applying the second coat, I rubbed the back of the foils against the slightly tacky polish using an orange stick. I wanted a mottled effect so I rubbed over various segments of the foil. I then followed up with a single coat of HK Girl top coat to get a smoother effect for these photos.

I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, but there are a few things I would change for future use. Because my nails were still tacky in order to apply the foils, there were little areas of the nail that pulled up the base polish. I recommend applying however many coats of base that you need, allow it to dry completely, and then add another coat in which to attach the foils. That way you don't have areas on your nails that look a little bare. Another issue I had was with adding top coat. The foils are apparently not solvent resistant, and the little rippling effect that were in these foils was lost as soon as I added top coat. The final result was still pretty cool, but I preferred my nails pre-top coat with the illusion of texture. It certainly won't keep me from using them again, but it is something to keep in mind.

If you are interested in the foils, you can check them out here.

Be sure to keep Born Pretty Store on your mind for all your nail art needs! They have so many options to choose from! You can also save 10% by using the discount code QWL91.

Until next time, have a great day!

Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual authors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Starlight and Sparkles Polish Holos: Swatches and Review

Press Sample
Good morning, dear readers! In my previous post, I reviewed duochrome top coats made by Starlight and Sparkles Polish, and today I have two holos! As much as I love wear duochrome polishes, they can be so difficult to photograph and capture the colour shifts, and I love to blog about holos. The best thing about Arizona is all the sun (plus sunscreen please; I'd like to avoid skin cancer if possible), and holographic polishes always look amazing here.

Starlight holographic top coat over Barielle Coral Reef
I thought about swatching this by itself, but I'm just not a fan of silvery polishes. Besides, it is meant to be a top coat so I opted to use it as a top coat. I layered this baby over Barielle Coral Reef, a dark red-leaning coral, and I was just blown away. Starlight applied so smoothly, and I had no trouble keeping the application relatively even across all my nails. Wowza, check out that holo! This is another top coat I'm going to have to put over everything!

Cocoa Crystal (two coats)
Are you drooling yet? This gorgeous brown holo is stunning, and welcome addition to my collection. I love most brown polishes in general, but there is just something warm and inviting about a brown holo polish that I just can't seem to get enough. I have no complaints about this beauty, and I will certainly be reaching for this one again!

These and other Starlight and Sparkles polishes can be purchased from the etsy shop.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these! Do you like brown holos? What would you layer the holo top coat over?

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


Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual authors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Starlight and Sparkles Polish Duochrome Top Coats Swatches and Review

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers, and happy hump day! I have some gorgeous duochrome top coats made by Starlight and Sparkles Polish, and they are AH-MAZING! I love these types of polishes, and I am always taken back at just how much they can transform your base colour. Since these polishes are frequently shown swatched over black, I wanted to wear coloured undies (hehe) to really show off how you can wear these beauties. The formula on all of these was perfect: not too thick or thin, and I had no application issues at all. They all applied very smoothly and dried quickly. On to the swatches!

Dragon (1 coat) over Color Club Artsy Crafty (2 coats)
Dragon flashes from a bronzey gold to a green, so of course I had to layer this over a dark green. There are also flashes of orange and teal, and you'll have to click on the photos to see the enlargements in order to see them. Unfortunately you can only really see these flashes on the finger tips and the blurred nail that is out of focus. 

Phoenix (1 coat) over Julep Alicia (2 coats)
Phoenix is supposed to flash from red to green to gold, but I didn't see any of the green in the colour shift. Perhaps this combination wasn't conducive to showing off all three colours, but it definitely brought my boring base to life! I'll have to play around with more base colours to get the full shift, but I absolutely love the effect it had over Alicia.

Unicorn (1 coat) over Zoya Breezi (2 coats)
As I was doing these swatches, I didn't think I could out-do my love of the previous combinations, but this one took the cake. Unicorn changes from green to blue with flashes of indigo and turquoise, and my camera just could not capture the awesomeness of this polish. Boo! This colour combination reminds me of the ocean, and hopefully these photos can convince you this is an amazing top coat.

I was very impressed with these polishes, and now I just want to put them on top of everything!

These and other gorgeous polishes can be purchased at the Starlight and Sparkles etsy shop. Keep an eye out of my blog where I review some of the holos!

Do you like duochrome top coats? What would you layer them over?


Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual authors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Anyone Else Need a Minion? (PS- this is a GIVEAWAY!)

Good evening, dear readers! I have a quick post tonight to share a giveaway that I am taking part in with several awesome shops and bloggers.  My dear friend Babi of Colorsutraa has the cutest obsession with the minions from the film Despicable Me, and she decided to coordinate a giveaway featuring them! I have to admit I haven't seen the original movie let alone the second one, but of course I have to participate!
So what is this all about? 16 bloggers (myself included) and indie shops have partnered up for this cute minion giveaway. Each prize will include your own little Minion (the toy from the McDonald's happy meals), 2-5 mini polishes, and mini candy!

The giveaway will run from July 17th, 213 12 midnight EST to August 7th, 2013 12 midnight EST. Winners will be picked by the weekend and prizes mailed out by the individual shops/bloggers within 3 weeks. This is open INTERNATIONALLY! Remember to enter as many of the options as you can to increase your chances of winning, and please share the love! Let's help Babi spread the love of Minions!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 15, 2013

GlamRX Touchup Palette: Review and Swatches

Press Sample
Good morning, dear readers! I have a cute little palette that you might find very useful, especially during these warm summer days. Today's post is featuring the Touch Up Palette by GlamRX. This handy little palette is pocket sized- it is a large as a credit card but deeper- and it fits perfectly in your pocket. Check this out!
Unlike the typical palette that has eyeshadows and blush, this little baby has some of the essentials you actually need for touchups: shine erasing powder, black eyeliner, concealer, and a tinted lip balm. 
The top part lifts up to reveal a mini brush set that is included and a bottom floor that is magnetic.

Let's start with the makeup.
Left to right: Shine erasing powder, eyeliner, concealer, lip balm

I used a clean finger to apply a swatch line on my arm in this photo. I promise the shine erasing powder is not this white when applied using a brush! I really liked the shine erasing powder and found that it helped to absorb some of the excess oil my skin produced. My skin looked matte (good bye oil slick!), and I didn't have any issues with breaking out like I do with some other powders. I used my powder brush to apply the shine erasing powder to my face.

The black eyeliner in this palette is also quite nice. Using the included brush, I could apply it dry and achieve a smoky soft line or I could apply it wet for a darker and finer line. The eyeliner stayed in place for several hours- definitely a plus for me!

Now I have to tell you, dear readers, when I saw this palette came with a concealer, my thought was there is no way it would work for me. I was shocked to try this concealer and saw just how well it worked with my skin tone. It worked perfectly with my medium olive skin, and it is so creamy and blendable! That being said, I think the concealer might be limiting for some people. I don't think it would work well for people with pale skin tones. If someone with paler skin has tried it and found otherwise, please let me know!

The final remaining item from the top floor is the lip balm, and it is beautiful! If you want in-your-face red lips, stop now as this is not for you. Instead, this lip balm is perfect is you want a strawberry-kissed look. Surely I wasn't the only one that rubbed strawberries over my lips to get them tinted when I was a kid! While this lip balm is missing the flavor, it does have a nice hint of colour that is flattering on most if not all skin tones. The formula was smooth and it had pretty good staying power as well.

I have mixed feelings about the brushes that were included in this palette. While they technically fit, they don't fit very well inside the bottom section. The blush brush was too coarse for my liking, and it didn't distribute blush very nicely for me. I prefer larger brushes for this reason, but a large brush obviously would not fit with this palette. I'm also not a big fan of sponge applicators for eyeshadows, but I was happy with the eyeliner end of the brush.

If you prefer to use your own brushes and need to include eyeshadows, blush, or bronzer in your Touch Up palette, you can easily add them to the bottom level. The floor is magnetic and will keep your other items in place. Need to carry bobby pins instead? You got it- just pop them in and go. The Touch Up Palette is the perfect little palette to toss in your bag to help free up clutter and still give you the essentials you need for touch ups during the day. At only $16.50, it is an affordable addition to your bag.

The GlamRX Touch Up Palette can be purchased from the shop here.

Have you tried this palette? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

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


Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual authors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Northern Star Polish: TRUSTNO1 and Cuticle Oil Review

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! I hope you have been enjoying the week thus far and have something fun planned for the weekend! For today's post, I have a gorgeous blue polish and a cuticle oil made by Kristin of Northern Star Polish. You've already seen this polish if you read my post on the 4th of July: I used Northern Star Polish TRUSTNO1 for the base of my manicure. The cobalt-blue base is packed with blue fleck glitters that just make this polish simply divine. I seriously find myself salivating whenever I look at these pictures!
I used two coats of TRUSTNO1 and HK Girl top coat for these swatch photos. The first coat was a little streaky for me, but it leveled out perfectly with the second coat. I am enamored with this polish, and I will definitely be wearing it again soon!

In addition to polishes, Northern Star Polish makes cuticle oils. Well, technically it is eponychium as The Lacquerologist explained earlier this week. Seriously, this post is a great read and I recommend it if you haven't seen it already. Now back to my post....

Kristin sent me a small bottle of her cuticle oil in the scent Honeysuckle Tangerine, and it smells amazing! I was rather amused that she sent this scent because I do not like floral scents with the only exception being honeysuckle. How did she know?!? I also love citrus scents, and I was very interested in this particular combination. I enjoy it very much, and I definitely recommend it!
I applied the oil every day with the brush and rubbed it into my eponychium (wink wink); it is definitely softer and just looks better!

Links
Visit Northern Star Polish's etsy shop to purchase these and other items. Kristin has switched over to a new bottle shape that is really cool. Also, her cuticle oils are available as samplers of either 5 mini bottles or 3 larger bottles, and they use a doe foot applicator rather than the brush that I have (partially) showing here. 

Keep an eye on her Facebook page for shop announcements.

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

<3



Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual authors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wantable Subscription Service: July Box Review

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! Today's post is all about accessories, and I have some really pretty ones to share with you! I was given the opportunity to try out the monthly subscription service by Wantable, and has it been a fun experience! When you sign up for this service, you are given the option between a makeup box that is filled with full-sized premium products or a jewelry box that is limited edition and personalized to your specific tastes. I love makeup, and Wantable works with several brands that I love including Too Faced, Color Club, and Bombshell, but I *might* have more makeup than I know what to do with. Let's be honest- this normally wouldn't stop me, but I was really intrigued at the idea of having someone handpick accessories for me based on my preferences. Could someone really know my taste based on a few answers? Let's find out!
The moment of truth- makeup or jewelry!
Rate the accessories based on whether you love, like, or dislike specific items. I actually do like sunglasses and need them with all the sun here in Arizona, but I am insanely picky about my shades. Wantable strives to ensure you only receive things you like or love, but you have to give a couple options.
After you love or like an accessory, you are asked more specific questions about your preferences in each item type. Since this post is already picture heavy, I'm only going to show my selections on bracelets.
Now we're getting into the details- materials! Some of these questions are hard to answer because there are other variables. For example, I like some beaded things, but I don't really care for the bracelet shown. I decided to just go with it and mark it as like.
The final selections are made, and I was a little stuck. I don't like text in my jewelry or religious or military symbols. If I had my way, I would have had everything on this page marked as dislike. Unfortunately, in order to proceed, I had to like something. I do like some skull jewelry, although I am really picky about them; I decided this was the better option for me to move forward.

Wanna see my box? This is what arrived at my door.
I like the simple black and white box. It's classy, and I know it is my Wantable box the moment it arrives.
A Beautiful New Thing is Wantable's slogan.
I don't know why, but I like getting packages that include a little thank you note, even if they are not personalized. I really love companies that take the extra effort to appreciate their customers.
This is part of the sheet they included in my box with my selections they used in determining what to send to me. As you can see, everything is colour-coded. My loves are dark pink, likes are blue, and dislikes are black. This sheet also lists the items I was sent, their retail value, and a little note about each piece.
All the items in my box were packaged individually so nothing would get scratched up during packaging and shipping. A nice touch!
Based on my selections, I was sent a necklace, earrings, ring, hairclip, and bracelet.

Jordana necklace, retail $24.00
"Art deco glam... Absolutely! This inspired piece is a timely addition to your jewelry box"

I'm guessing this piece was sent to me since I said I like glam styles. I do like vintage-inspired pieces, but art deco is not something that appeals to me. This necklace does feel substantial and I do like that I can adjust the length slightly. I could not get this piece to photograph well with the crystals, but the crystals were not white. Instead, they are what I have seen called aura borealis- a creamy colour that flashes light yellow and pink. I didn't care for this necklace at first, but in order to write this review, I was determined to wear everything for at least a full day to give a better assessment. By the time I removed it, I did end up liking the piece. It isn't something I would normally pick out for myself, but it is a fun accessory.

Genevieve earrings, retail $15.00
"Art deco styling makes these pretty fringe earrings perfectly on trend this summer."

While art deco is not a look I tend to like, I do love these earrings. The tassels are fun and flirty, and I've actually been looking for something similar in a necklace. 

Gaia ring, retail $22
"Fashion stylist Lara Eudolian absolutely loves this ring! We know you will too!"

I must say, they were right about this one! I love jewelry with some movement, and this ring is perfect! If you prefer sized rings like I do, Wantable does ask what size you wear. This one fits perfectly!

Rose barrette, retail $8
"This rose hair clip is a sweet accent to a side pony or a polished top knot."

This is a cute little hair accessory, but I have to admit I was not pleased with the quality. The first photo is the clip out of the box, and the second is within minutes of wearing it for the first time. As you can see, it was not glued together well and the rose separated. It's not the end of the world and I can fix it easily enough, but I would prefer to not *have* to fix it so soon after receiving it. I'm on the fence about pulling out my glue gun and attaching the petals to reform the rose or affixing a large bead to the center. I am glad that they sent a clip for a hair accessory rather than another hair item. I have short hair; so no side pony or top knots for me!

? bracelet, unknown retail value

Upon closer inspection of the information sheet that was included in my box, I realized the the tiny photo of the bracelet on the sheet did not match the bracelet I was sent. Oops! The "belt buckle" on this bracelet is slightly adjustable if you have problems with bracelets not fitting correctly. This hinged bracelet is cute, but I definitely would have preferred the bracelet I should have received. 

So you can see several of these pieces in action as well as get an idea of their size, I got dressed up a little to show off some of the accessories. I've got almost 4 month old grabby hands that will keep me away from the earrings and necklace, but it was fun getting to wear them for a little while! 

Final Thoughts
I was initially very disappointed with this box when I first opened it. While I knew I couldn't expect to receive a particular item, their July box was advertised on their page with lots of blue and turquoise coloured pieces. I expected more colour variety from the box than this, even with the red rose hair clip. Even the bracelet they were supposed to send to me isn't very colourful; based in the the photos I have seen online, it appears silver and white. In spite of the lack of colour variety, I was happy with the variety of types of pieces, and they are quite nice. The ring and earrings are my favorites from the box, and I will definitely wear the hair clip and necklace on occasion. Assuming the value of the bracelet I received and the bracelet I should have received are of similar value, this box has a retail value of $95 according to Wantable. The items I received are not worth $95 to me, but the $40 for a one-time box or $36 for the monthly subscription is a more than fair price for this box.

Links and Additional Information
You can sign up to receive a Wantable box on a monthly basis for $36 per month, or you can just buy a single box for $40. If you get a subscription, you can easily change your preferences for the next box and skip boxes if they just aren't in your budget a particular month. Also, if you are not completely satisfied with your box, you can return the box for a full refund, and Wantable pays the shipping cost! I haven't seen a subscription service that does that, and I think it makes it easier to try it out. 

You can also follow Wantable on Facebook and Twitter for updates!

What kind of box would YOU choose?



Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual authors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.










Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Good morning, dear readers! I just have a quick post today to share my nail art for the 4th of July holiday. For those of you that have been with me for awhile, you might remember my nail fiasco last year in which it took me 6(!!!!) attempts to do nail art for the holiday. Now that I have a 3 month old, that would not fly this year. In the words of Ms. Sweet Brown:
This year, I knew what I got in the first go would be my holiday nails. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, and the crystals aren't driving me crazy.....yet.
I used Northern Star Polish in TrustNo1 as a base (review to come soon!) and added striping tape I purchased on eBay and star glitters and crystals from Bundle Monster.

I'm off to spend the day with the hubby and our cutie-patootie boy! Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day! <3