Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 25 Indie Polishes of 2016


Happy New Year's Eve, dear readers! It's almost baffling that another year has come and gone, but what a year it has been! This past year, I saw quite a bit of traveling for the blog, from Colorado for the Uber Chic launch party, the Indie Shop in Los Angeles in May, Las Vegas for Cosmoprof North America in July, the first ever Polish Con in Chicago in September, and finally the Indie Shop in Los Angeles again in November. It has definitely been a fun experience, and each time I am always thrilled to see friends I have made in the blogging and beauty communities as well as making new ones. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings the blog!

In honor of the close of the year, I wanted to put together my top Indie nail polish picks that came out this year. There were so many stunning shades to choose from, and there as so many that are deserving of recognition that just barely missed this list. One thing to note, this list only includes polishes that were available for purchase to the public. Many of the polish events I attended included event exclusives created by the various makers, and while so many of these exclusives could easily have made my list, I chose to not include them. I also did not include any mystery shades or gift with purchases; every polish on my list HAD to have been advertised and purchasable by anyone, and this does include collaboration projects. Let's jump in!

Wanderlusting

While I tend to not wear a lot of super sparkly shades, Wanderlusting certainly captured my attention this year! Rather than just a simple gold polish, this one has a complex makeup of  several different pigments, glass flecks, and a subtle green shift that I just had to include this beauty on my list.

Dancing in the Moonlight

I love my blues to be vibrant, and Girly Bits Cosmetics really nailed it with this stunning August color of the month shade. What really set this shade apart from other similar shades is the gorgeous pink flash that complemented the base colour so perfectly.

Fright Club

Originally part of a Halloween Duo, the deep green Fright Club made my list this year. It appears almost black in some lighting, but the flashes of blue from the glitter touches are unmistakable and add the perfect pop of colour against the dark base.

Butterfly Floufs

While I'm not generally particularly drawn towards lilac shades, Butterfly Floufs is just too pretty to leave off this list. The combination of the base with the golden shimmer, golden microflakes and a light purple flash makes this pastel more wearable for warmer skin tones that normally cannot wear this sort of shade.

Vivien

It almost seems wrong that the DDP shade on this list isn't filled with flakes, something Carrie does oh-so-well, but it's DDP's knack for making sexy reds that put Vivien on the list. There were so many to chose from, but the Vivien Leigh-inspired shade filled with gold shimmer and holo sparks had me going ooh-la-la!

Mutagen

NWP has a specialty for putting out stunning shimmers, and while there are so many to choose from, it is the fabulous Mutagen that demanded attention. I may not be overly fond of neons in general, but I do love this muted neon green hue while the name appeals to my nerdy side.

Soot And Ladders

I have taken hundreds of photos of the magnificent polish, and yet a perfectly clear shot of the microflakes still eludes me. Even so, the rainbow of microflakes dance too perfectly against the jelly black base to not be added in this post.

Come And Take Me

Orange may be my favorite colour, but it certainly isn't dominating my list for top shades this year. That being said, combine Literary Lacquers, orange, and a fire opal jelly hue, and I have my top orange shade for 2016! The opalescent flakes and holographic microglitter add the perfect amount of sparkle that can win over any orange-hating heart.

The Meantime

Joy Lacquer released her first set of creme polishes this winter, and The Meantime has been one of my top go-to shades ever since. A blue-based teal with a flawless formula? Sign me up! I, for one, would love to see Joy expand on her Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows creme lineup and have a few favorite words myself from the dictionary.

Fin Swirl

BLUSH Lacquers might be a new brand that opened up shop this year, but the brand's creations are so on point, you'd think they've been at it for years! I especially love this dusty-mauve hue; it's definitely not your mother's mauve!

Emerald City

Ever After Polish is another brand that is well-known for their flakie-filled beauties, and yet it is this deep emerald green holographic polish from the Wicked Collection that is on today's post. It's easy to get lost staring into its rich hue; it is easily the most perfect emerald shade to be released this year!

Cuddle Up

Cuddle Up is a beautiful berry-red shade that can look a little more red or a dark raspberry depending on your skintone. It's a lovely cool-toned shade and one that I adore!

Bad Hare Day

Sara may be known for her vibrantly-coloured shades, but it is the cool-toned nude Bad Hare Day that was a standout for the year. The gold and rose gold shimmer combined with the copper microglitter made for the perfect combination and made this a favorite of many this year.

Shimmer Me Timbers

Shimmer Me Timbers is part of the Pirate's Booty Collection and my personal favorite collection of the year. The full collection is glorious, and with a pirate theme and fabulous names, I'm afraid no other collection could possibly compete. This oceanic green polish has made me swoon time and time again since its release this summer.

Master of Wine

Perhaps living in wine country has biased me towards this shade, but it was love at first site when I first saw Master of Wine. I have it shown here to really show off the colour-shifting blue green shimmer, but at other angles it is a lovely plum red hue that looks fabulous on the fingertips while drinking a glass of wine.

Rendered Speechless

I don't think there is a more appropriate name for this gorgeous polish! Colors by Llarowe certainly has seen a number of magnificent shades in 2016, and this bright minty green is my top pick for the year. The copper to gold to pink colour-shifting shimmer suits the base hue exquisitely and leaves me speechless.

Nauti Girl

This beauty was on my blog recently in holiday nail art, and it still sets my heart a flutter every time I look at it! The warm red base is so inviting, and the colour-shifting shimmer is fantastic no matter what time of year!

Party At The Pallazo

I will party just about anywhere if it includes this beautiful shade! This mid-toned grey polish is so packed with pink, purple, and blue microflakes that you'd never know it started out as just a grey polish. The final look is more of a dusty purple and makes me weak at the knees.

Mani

IAMCCC has filled this year with collection inspired by different mythologies, and I have been enjoying learning about the different pantheons throughout the year. There are so many beautiful shades, and my most-worn has been the moon-inspired shade from the Norse pantheon. A gorgeous champagne hue, this polish is also filled with blue shimmers and real silver flakies!

The Night She Came Home

I see we meet again, orange, my dear friend! I suspected that an orange from my beloved Halloween would make it on this list, and I just had to bide my time to see where it would come from. The flakies and gold shimmer are the perfect accompaniment to this pumpkin-coloured polish.

Beach Walk

I considered breaking my "non-exclusive" rule since the Polish 'M Indie Shop exclusives are magnificent, but I had to behave and stick to the guidelines I set for this post. That being said, Polish 'M has released so many pretty shades this year so it's not that surprising so see one still end up on my top 25 list for the year. Beach Walk is beautifully designed, from the base colour to the added shimmers and glitters, and I feel like I'm looking at tropical waters when I look at this beauty.

We're Vincible

What's this? A mustard yellow creme on a favorite's list? Here me out, dear readers! Mustard yellow has been a surprisingly popular shade in the fashion world, and it is a trend that naturally should cross over into the polish world. I'm actually a little surprised that this shade hasn't really joined the indie world this year, and BEGL's semi-thick but still easy to use formula made this one of my stand out polishes from the year.

Kissing At Sunset

Aptly named, Kissing At Sunset is a lovely peachy pink holographic shade filled with golden shimmers and flakies. While the polishes on this list were chosen by me, my husband vehemently agreed with the addition of this playful pink to my top 25 list. It certainly definitely a shade I enjoy when the weather turns warmer!

The Gravedigger

It seems as though 2016 is the year of greens for me as this Game of Thrones-inspired sage green rounds out my choice of greens for the year. Ellagee's The Gravedigger is the perfect pairing of sage and gold that is wearable any time of year.

Vegas Show Girl

I'm generally not a microglitter fan, but my top 25 list couldn't be complete without one on it! While my options were limited based on my collection, Vegas Show Girl is a fabulous glitter bomb, something to be expected based on the name. Alter Ego had a complete formula overhaul so their formula has radically improved this year! A mix of blue, green and gold with a touch of holo, this microglitter has even won my heart.

And that, dear readers, rounds out my list of top 25 indie polish shades from 2016! I look forward to seeing the collections that are released in the upcoming year!

What do you think of my top 25 polish picks for the year? Are any on your list? What shades would you add? I'd love to here from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a safe evening and I shall see you next year!
XO!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Nail Art with Literary Lacquers Visions of Sugarplums

TGIF, dear readers! I've got a quick post to share this morning so I'm going to jump right on in!

In a previous post, I shared Visions of Sugarplums, the gorgeous gift with purchase by Literary Lacquers. This polish is stunning and just begged to be used in a nail art design!
I wanted to keep the design simple so as to not detract from this magnificent polish. I knew I wanted to do a little stamping used this lovely swirled design from the Ejiubas EJB-03 stamping plate. I used Rica's Whiteout for the stamping.
The stamped image covered the polish a little more than I wanted so I altered my design some and decided to just add these star studded accents on my last two nails.
I'm pretty happy with the final look, and I'm glad I made the modification mid-stamping! The star accents really let me enjoy this beautiful polish!

There is still time to get this beautiful gift with purchase from Literary LacquersFor every purchase of $24, you will receive a mini-sized bottle of this beauty, and a purchase of $48 or more will come with a full-sized bottle. This will only be available until the store's temporary closing January 2nd so be sure to get an order in today/this weekend! Discount code HOLIDAY2016 will also save you 20% off your order and is also available until the store's close.

What do you think of this design? Do you like the added star accents to go with the hidden stars in the base polish?

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Zoya Perfect Lipsticks Revisited: Combinations to Try!

Greetings, dear readers! Earlier this week, I shared the Zoya Naturel 3 nail polish collection for 2016/2017 and the three coordinating lipstick shades. The three shades aren't new to the Zoya lineup, and in fact, I shared the full Zoya Perfect Lipstick collection just a few months ago here. In my previous post, I shared swatches of the lipsticks as worn alone, but if you've been following me lately, you may have noticed I've been branching out a lot in mixing and matching lipsticks. I thought this would be the perfect time to revisit the Perfect Lipstick and share some of the ways I have been wearing them. Let's check it out!

Shades used: Frankie, Matte Velvet Red and Frankie

I love sporting a red lip, and these three shades play so well together to create the most fabulous red ombre! This had definitely become my go-to combination for red lips lately!

Shades used: Paisley and Cameron

I adore this combination for when I want a sweet touch of colour on my lips. Paisley and Cameron play together beautifully, and I'm convinced these shades are just made for each other.

Shades used: Jasmine and Belle

I must admit, I kind of feel like the ultimate Disney princess wearing these two shades together! Sass, independence, emphatic and well-read? Oh yeah, sounds perfect to me! This is another winning combination based on the colours alone, but the lipstick names do make me feel just a little extra fierce.

Shades used: Wren and Mellie

I admit it, this is not my favorite look. I never really was particularly fond of the darker inner lip area or the "bitten" look as I've heard it called, but I must say, these two shades accomplish the effect flawlessly! I took this photo after application, and I found I did like it more as the colour faded some and the effect more gradual. I have seen people rock this look so I'm still including it in this post even if it isn't my jam.

Shades used: Candy and Brooke

This is definitely the easiest look to create, but it's just so darn pretty! Candy is just a touch too bright for me some days and Brooke is much sheerer than you might expect when you first look at the lipstick in the tube. I decided to combine these two shades together on a whim one morning, and I have never looked back! After I have Candy on my lips, I just blot the excess off on a tissue. I then follow up with a coat of Brooke on top. It tones down Candy just the tiniest smidgen while imparting Brooke's fabulous metallic shimmer. No special blending is needed for this look, and it's become a popular one for me when I'm in a rush doing my makeup.

The Zoya Perfect Lipstick shades are available for purchase at Zoya.com, and as this post can attest, you need more that one shade in your life! These lipsticks are so creamy and stay put with a little blotting and setting with powder for five to six hours depending on what I am eating during that time. They retail for $12 each, and I certainly recommend them!

Have you tried any Zoya Perfect Lipsticks? What shades are your favorites? Is there a combination that you like the most? I'd love to hear from you!

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




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Literary Lacquers: Visions of Sugarplums

Happy hump day, dear readers! Now that the day is almost over, it's even closer to the weekend and a new year yet! I've been trying to sit down to get this post written all day, and I only now seem to have a few minutes of quiet time to myself. I'm just going to keep the chitchat short and dive right on in!
As many of you already know, I love the indie polish brand Literary Lacquers, created by the equally fabulous Amy Milder. Amy is a dear friend of mine, and I was ecstatic to see she was following in her previous years' footsteps and created a new gift with purchase shade this holiday season. This year's colour is names Visions of Sugarplums, and you'll definitely be loving this beauty on your fingertips!
Visions of Sugarplums is a deep blurple glitter holographic polish with a smattering of tiny pink stars. I have is shown here with two coats plus top coat.
I really love the Literary Lacquers brand because not only are the polish colours gorgeous, the formulas are always on point. It should come as no surprise that this applied beautifully for me. The stars are present for a nice little touch, and I ended up with a star for every one to two dips of the brush in my bottle. They're definitely present on the nail, but they aren't meant to be the "star" of the show, pun intended.
As I mentioned previously, this beauty is a gift with purchase from the Literary Lacquers shop located here. For every purchase of $24, you will receive a mini-sized bottle of this beauty, and a purchase of $48 or more will come with a full-sized bottle. The gift with purchase is only available for a limited time, so get your orders in this week if you want to get ahold of this beauty! This will only be available until the store's temporary closing January 2nd. Oh, and you can also let your dollar go a little further by saving 20% with discount code HOLIDAY2016! There are so many stunning shades in the shop to choose from, and you will not be disappointed!
Speaking of the shop's temporary closing, this is as good a time as any to mention the new shop model Literary Lacquers will be using for the time being. When the shop reopens, it will only be open for the first weekend of every month with a limited offering of colours available for preorder rather than the full Literary Lacquers lineup. Each month will yield one new shade (*hint hint* February's new release just might have something to do with your favorite blogger's 5th blogiversary coming up) and five or six previously released core shades. To keep track of shop opening dates and what will be available, please sign up for the new Literary Lacquers newsletter here. You definitely don't want to miss out! I know I'm excited to see new shades coming out each month as well!

Literary Lacquers Links:

Do you have a favorite Literary Lacquers shade? If not, what polishes are you interested in? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a great night!
XO!






Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher, Mental Health Advocacy, and Donations

Greetings, dear readers. As The Jedi Wife, I've been on the fence about writing this post given the news about Carrie Fisher's passing. It has certainly been a sad day here in the Sky Walker household because of it, and to be honest, I just didn't have the heart to write. While Ms. Fisher was best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan and later General Leia Organa, I would like to focus on Ms. Fisher the person rather than a fictional character. Carrie Fisher was a mental health advocate, inspired by her own struggles with bipolar disorder, and had even started this year to write in an advice column for the Guardian. Her final contribution to the column was addressing a young man that reached out to her about how to deal with bipolar disorder. Ms. Fisher was certainly the ideal person to respond to his letter, and she offered him some important advice on finding community for a sense of belonging.

"We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges. Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic – not “I survived living in Mosul during an attack” heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community – however small – of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities."

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I am writing about this on my blog, and this is the part that I hope is of interest to you. In May 2015, I shared this post sharing the Star Wars "May the Fourth Be With You" A Box, Indied polishes. The A Box, Indied box is no longer in existence, and two of the contributors to this box, Contrary Polish and Girly Bits Cosmetics, each created a shade inspired by Princess and General Leia. Both of these makers have very generously decided to sell their contributions to the box to raise funds for mental health awareness. Let's get a closer look at them!

Slavegirl Bikini
Contrary Polish
Blood red jelly polish with scattered gold and holographic shimmer/microglitter

100% of proceeds will be donated to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

I Like Big Buns
Girly Bits Cosmetics
A warm chocolate brown full of brown and wine shimmer and violet and blue sparks

100% of proceeds will be donated to the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. Pam will be selling the overpour bottles, and there are approximately 15 available for purchase. Shipping will resume on after the holidays starting January 4th.

Ninja Edit: It appears as though these have sold out quickly! Thank you everyone for your purchase and supporting this organization!

Many of us know someone affected with a mental illness, and it may even be yourself. Thank you to these makers for selling these polishes to raise funds to help support those that are affected. To Ms. Carrie Fisher, thank you, for being you and speaking out and giving support to others. Thank you also for touching our lives on screen. You will be sorely missed.

Zoya: Naturel 3 Collection Swatch, Review, and a Giveaway!

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! I hope your week has been off to a fabulous start, whether you're chilling at home between holidays or back to the daily grind at work. Speaking of work, today's blog post features the latest Zoya nail polish collection, Naturel 3 complete with three coordinating lip hues. Thankfully I have never worked somewhere that I had to keep my nails "work appropriate", but I do enjoy wearing neutrals on my nails from time to time. It's a nice change of pace from the glitz and glamour of the holiday nails and the perfect transition as we approach spring. Zoya certainly agrees, and they have followed up their first two Naturel Collections in previous years with this set. Let's check them out!

Cathy
Two coats plus top coat

Cathy is described as a light pinky nude cream, and it certainly is just that! I love this colour for when I don't want my nails to stand out, and I am happy to report the formula is fabulous! Two easy coats reached opacity and I was ready to go about my day!

Debbie
Two coats

A plum brown cream, Debbie is my other favorite from this collection. Even though I used two coats here, I could have gotten away with a single coat with the exception of one nail. There's always got to be one that throws you off, am I right? Debbie applies like a dream, so if you like your neutrals with a little more WOW, Debbie is an excellent choice.

Gina
One coat

Maybe I've been doing far too much baking this holiday season, but I cannot look at Gina without thinking about milk chocolate! A medium brown neutral cream, by fingertips certainly look like they've taken a dip in the melted chocolate in addition to my cookies! Like the rest of this collection, Gina's formula was really creamy and easy to work with, and I only needed one coat for opacity! My nails are currently on the shorter side, so those with longer nails or those who paint with really thin coats may need a second coat of colour.

Jill
Two coats plus top coat

Jill is described as a lighter mauve cream, and I keep flip-flopping as to whether or not I like this shade. In the end, I think it's a nice tribute shade to the Victorian Age and a classy shade to add to one's collection. This applied easily for me, and it definitely needed the two coats for opacity.

Mary
One coat plus top coat

Mary is described by Zoya as a medium raisin cream. It adds a nice touch of colour to keep it from being a brown hue while still staying neutral. It applies really nicely; I have no issues to report about this beauty.

Tatum
Two coats plus top coat

Tatum was a surprising favorite from this collection for me. Described as a light nude cream with a warm base, I was initially expecting to not care too much for the colour, but once I had it on my nails, it was love! The formula was on point as it applies flawlessly, and I'm definitely be grabbing for this one often!

The Naturel 3 collection offers a fantastic assortment of neutral shades, and I am happy to see if give a variety of low to high impact hues. I'm not really convinced you need every one for in your collection, but I definitely recommend picking up a few of them for when you want neutral nails.

In addition to the new six nail polish shades, the Naturel 3 Collection includes the repromotion of three coordinating Perfect Lipstick shades.

Maxwell is described as a deep plum with a subtle metallic fleck in a matte finish. It is definitely the shade you want to be wearing when the focus sound be on your lips! The metallic fleck is a beautiful touch as well!

Cameron is a hydrating nude neutral with a cream finish. I had previously swatched all these Zoya shades this past fall, and as I mentioned then, Cameron was a surprising favorite for me. I wear this shade often as it is my go-to nude!

Paisley was another surprising favorite and is described as an easy to wear blush-rose hydrating neutral cream. It adds a gorgeous hint of colour to your lips!

These Perfect Lipsticks apply very smoothly to the lips, and when I set them, I get roughly 5-6 hours of wear when I have my coffee and a light lunch. They do need touching up when I eat something that rubs up on the lips, like a cheeseburger for example, but I just touch up my lips when needed.

Now for a giveaway! I already had these three lipsticks, so I'm going to send the new set to one lucky reader!
This giveaway is open worldwide to participants age 18 years and older!






a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Naturel 3 Collection is now available for purchase at Zoya.com! The nail polish shades retail for $10 each while the Zoya Perfect Lipsticks retail for $12 each.

What are your favorite shades from this collection? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, have a wonderful day!
XO!