December 31, 2012

The 6 Most Popular Manicurity Posts from 2012

Don't worry, you didn't even have to vote on these - you 'voted' with your views! Here's a round up of my top 6 most popular posts from the past year based on views. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it was a mix of comparison posts, a swatch post, two nail art posts, and a 'monkey see monkey do' style post. I did, however, leave out the blog sale and giveaway posts from my 'most viewed' since those aren't really content based.


Let's start with number six and work our way towards number 1, shall we?

In 6th place was a comparison post between different gold fleck style topcoats - #6 Gold Fleck Topcoat Showdown. I did this back in April when more 'shard' like topcoats were still new and I think the only actual gold topcoat on the market then was Rococo. Now there's so many options of real gold topcoats! But in fact I still prefer these non-gold ones because I don't feel nearly as gilty (har har, thanks for the pun Zoya) when removing glitter vs. gold.


#5 was sort of a shocking surprise to me because it was a such an easy breezy design, but it's my Mothman-inspired 'This is Halloween!' challenge nail art. I will not underestimate the majesty of the fan brush again!


#4 was an entry into a nail art competition for the Rainbow Honey Equestria collection, featuring My Little Pony Friendship is Magic nail art inspired by Rainbow Dash! I really loved doing those nails; the eye on my thumb was my very favorite.



#3 was a layering post that I 'copied' from Sarah at Chalkboard Nails for 'Monkey See Monkey Do' featuring Revlon Royal layered over some flakies in an unconventional jelly sammie. Looking back at this post definitely makes me want to try some fun layering combos again soon!


#2 was a swatch post! I am sort of excited and proud that a swatch post got so many views! I did swatches and comparisons of all the Orly Electronica Back to School polishes.


And finally my #1 most viewed post in 2012 was.....

*drumroll, please*
Perfect drum roll! (via Peadoodles)

...a comparison between the Revlon limited edition holiday polishes from the 'Just Add Sparkle' display with some popular Deborah Lippmann polishes! For the full post, click here.


Where these my favorite posts from the last year? Nope! Although I do remember feeling particularly proud of my MLP:FIM nail art and my Orly swatches at the time. I'll be posting a round-up of my favorite nail art posts from the last year shortly :D

December 28, 2012

TGIF: BadAss Polish Bling!

This week's TGIF: Thank Goodness, Indy Indie Friday! is 'Bling!' from BadAss Polish! Perhaps you're thinking "...uhm, haven't we seen this lately?.." and yes, it's true that I already shared half a dozen photos of this polish with you already when I reviewed it a while ago (post here, if you're curious). But! I love this polish! And I did something fun with it that I wanted to show you!





This is two coats of Bling! over some rainbow skittles. I should have maybe chosen a more navy blue to tie it together as jewel tones...but I like it as is. From pointer to pinkie I used: Revlon Top Speed Electric, Revlon Top Speed Emerald, OPI Ogre the Top Blue, China Glaze Grape Pop. For much more detailed information, you can check out my original review for Bling! here. Obviously I love this polish, though :D




Now I'm curious, do you have this polish? Love it, hate it, meh it? I love its many layering possibilities!


BadAss Polish polishes are available at their Etsy store ($8.5). You can view updates and new colors on the BadAss Polish Facebook page and visit the BadAss Polish website.

Don't forget to check out Kirsten's TGIF post over at Geeky Owl! 

December 27, 2012

ABC: F is for Friar, Friar Pants on Fire!

Sometimes I'll find older OPIs in random stores, like the grocery store down the street from my house! Friar, Friar Pants on Fire is one of my ~mystery~ grocery store finds. I was disappointed using this polish the first time because I wasn't really into red polish back then, but no more! This gorgeous, shimmery red was featured in my Festive Double Glitter Gradient. In the bottle, FFPoF has vibrant orange shimmer, but sometimes it also looks a little blue on the nail. The shimmer adds a lot of dimension on the nail and makes it look alive. FYI: these photos were all taken with my sunlight lamp inside.




*from my Festive Glitter Gradient post

Don't forget to check out the other 'F' polishes Bee and Kerrie picked out for today! And we'll see you back here next Thursday for 'G'. 

December 25, 2012

EOTD: Christmas-y Copper + Green

Hello! Hope y'all are having a happy holiday season! I was inspired to try this look after seeing this cool look from Temptalia, and it coincidentally looked super Christmas-y to me so I thought I'd save it to post now :D I was also influenced by this recreated Michael James Christmas look on Unique Desire for the winged liner and slightly more dramatic crease color.



This look is pretty simple to do, but still bold! I applied the dark teal-leaning green to the crease, then patted the dark coppery 'crease' color from the WnW Comfort Zone palette onto my lid. Using my Darling Girl foiling medium and the Sonia Kashuk pointed eyeliner brush, I did some winged metallic liner with the L'Oreal HiP loose pigment in Tenacious. I loved the liner! So shiny and pretty and a great contrast with the rest of the look. I blended out the harsh green shadow (because I applied poorly; forgot to tap off excess before sweeping it on) with the light, pale pink Luscious Lani from the same theBalm Shady Lady vol. 1 palette.


Products Used
- Urban Decay Primer Potion original primer (HG for now)
- coppery 'crease' shade from the Wet n' Wild Comfort Zone 8-pan palette
- theBalm Jealous Jordana in crease (from Shady Lady vol. 1)
- theBalm Luscious Lani (also from Shady Lady vol. 1) to blend out Jealous Jordana
-  L'Oreal HiP loose pigment eyeshadow Tenacious, foiled, as liner
- Darling Girl Superstar Serum (foiling medium)
- Joradana Easyliner Retractable eyeliner in Sea Green
- Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Light (under eye concealer)
- Maybelline Eye Studio MasterShape Brow Pencil in Blonde
- Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Highlighting Concelear in Radiant (under eyebrow) 
- black mascara of some kind (using some different samples lately, so idk)

Do you like this look? Are you doing any holiday-themed makeup?! The holidays often inspire me to try red lip looks.

December 20, 2012

ABC: E is for Emerald

Revlon Emerald is from their Top Speed line, which is one of my favorite but often overlooked set of polishes (even in my own stash). I really like the old school Revlon bottles and I like how quickly the Top Speed polishes set so that I can paint another coat if need be. Plus the Top Speed yellow, Electric, is like the only yellow I don't absolutely hate to use since it only takes me two coats! Emerald, my polish for this week's ABC Challenge, is supposedly a more opaque dupe for OPI Jade is the New Black but I don't have JitNB to compare. Who doesn't like a more opaque dupe tho, right?! I used two coats for this swatch, but it could've passed with just one coat had I been a little more careful painting.




PS. There are some weird stripes on my nails - they are not ridges in my nails or anything bad in terms of application, promise! I was wearing a navy and white striped shirt when snapping these photos and didn't realized they'd reflect so much *smacks forehead*

Do you have any Top Speed Revlon colors? Are there any sub-brands that you overlook in your stash?

Don't forget to check out the other 'E' polishes Bee and Kerrie picked out for today! And we'll see you back here next Thursday for 'F'. 

December 19, 2012

L'Oreal & Project Runway 'The Queen's Gaze' Quad EOTD

L'Oreal & Project Runway teamed up for the second time this year to produce yet another excellent limited edition fall collection with TONS of products! There were blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip glosses, nail polish, AND nail polish wraps. I tried to be well behaved and only picked up two of the four eyeshadow quads! Today I've got an EOTD look to share with you using the L'Oreal & Project Ruway Studio Secrets Professional Shadow Quad in The Queen's Gaze.



For this look, I used my new-ish Sonia Kashuk Smokey Eye Brush Set from Target ($14.99 for four brushes + a travel case) and followed the instructions included with the brushes. [I've been testing them out before I do a more in-depth review of them and want to use them a few times as intended and also of my own accord before I'm ready!]

I smudged the maroon color along my lashline after doing a sort of traditional smokey eye with the grey shadows. I really loved this look!! I don't have a lot of grey shadows because I tend more towards rich browns and coppers, but I loved using the shades in this quad.

Products Used
- Urban Decay Primer Potion original primer (HG for now)
- all four shades of the L'Oreal Queen's Gaze quad
- Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Light (under eye concealer)
- Maybelline Eye Studio MasterShape Brow Pencil in Blonde
- Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Highlighting Concelear in Radiant (under eyebrow) 
- Clinique High Impact mascara in Black


If you follow me on tumblr or instagram, you might have already seen the quick pick I snapped of the two quads I got when I purchased them last month! I didn't love The Muse's Gaze when I did some initial swatches or my first EOTD with it, but I'm willing to try it again.


Do you like this look? Did you pick up any of the L'Oreal + Project Runway products? 

December 17, 2012

EOTD: Pink + Grey Prettymaking-inspired

I saw the most beautiful combination of pink and grey eyeshadows on the blog Prettymaking (check out her version here) and I knew I needed to try it out myself! Somehow I've never thought of combining these colors; I have a few pink eyeshadows in my stash that go unused. This look got lots of compliments from guys (other than my boyfriend), which is a first for me!



I layered the brighter pink on top of the marbled gold/brown/pink shade from the WnW 'Baking a Cake' baked palette in my inner corner, then blended the medium and dark shades from the L'Oreal Queen's Gaze quad on the outer two thirds of my eye. I smudged some black liner near my upper eyelashes and set it with the dark grey shadow from the L'Oreal quad. I also used an angled brush and sort of painted the black UD eyeliner onto my lower lashes. A very soft, smokey everyday look for sure.

Products Used
- Urban Decay Primer Potion original primer (HG for now)
- the marbled gold/pink shade and pink shade from Wet n Wild's Baking a Cake baked eyeshadow palette
- the medium and dark shades from the L'Oreal Queen's Gaze eyeshadow quad 
- Urban Decay pencil in Zero
- Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Light (under eye concealer)
- Maybelline Eye Studio MasterShape Brow Pencil in Blonde
- Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Highlighting Concelear in Radiant (under eyebrow) 
- black mascara (I'm switching it up between some samples, so I don't know for sure which brand)

If you can't tell - I loved wearing this! I can't wait to mix it up and do some more combinations with these colors in the near future (lighter pinks, silvers, black. etc.). I also wanted to share my LOVE for the blog Prettymaking - she has hands-down the best eyeshadow swatches I've seen on any beauty blog and I love her creative, but wearable, eye looks. Definitely a blog I look up to in terms of beauty blogging.

Do you like this look? What's your favorite eyeshadow colors to wear together?

December 15, 2012

BadAss Polish Bling! Swatch & Review

Hey, y'all! I have another beautiful BadAss Polish to share with you today and this one is called 'Bling!' - a combo of silver and gold glitters. Bling! is part of their core line and is not limited edition. I've got a lot of pictures again for this one, because this is one beautiful polish. I'll show you some swatches and then talk about my thoughts and experience with this polish at the end. All photos were taken in indirect, natural sunlight and over two coats of Revlon Emerald, a green creme (i.e. no interfering shimmer). Let's go!

Here's one coat of Bling! - very delicate and pretty.



Here's two coats of Bling!, which is my preferred way of wearing it (two coats that is, not necessarily over Revlon Emerald haha). Two coats looks really jewel-encrusted, but still shows off the base color that it's layered over.





Here's two coats of Bling! with one thick coat of Essie Matte About You on top. This glitter top coat is really graceful and delicate when matte!




Where to purchase: the BadAss Polish Etsy store here

Price: $8.50 for a full sized (.5 fl oz) bottle of glittery goodness

Packaging: BadAss polishes ship in sturdy tubes, wrapped in a layer of felt to use to remove your new glitter polish. The bottles are square, which is easier for storage, and the handles are simple but comfortable to use. Labels wrap around two sides of the bottle and include the polish and brand name. (Photo of shipping tube below)

3-Free? Yep! NO Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), NO Formaldehyde, NO Toluen

Official Description from BadAss Polish: "Bling" is a glitter nail polish that was inspired by my husband's wedding band which is a combination of platinum and yellow gold. This polish has a combination of gold and silver glitter of various sizes. This works well as a layering polish but also can be built up for full coverage with a few coats.

My thoughts on the formula: Because Bling! can be built up to opacity, I found this polish to be a little globby in the bottle and on the brush but it was still really easy to paint with! It sort of sticks together in a ball, but that almost makes it easier to paint with because it isn't slipping off the brush. I really love the combination of glitters and how delicate and graceful it looks on the nail. It is very blingy and sparkly, but without being chunky, bumpy, gritty or any of those other negative things I think of when I think of glittery polish.

Overall: I highly recommend these! If you've ever been nervous or skeptical about indie or handmixed polish, this would be a great brand to start with because the formula is a dream to work with - on par with any traditional brand.

shipping tube, Go Pack Go! (previously reviewed here), felt

More info about the brand: the BadAss Polish Facebook Page | the BadAss Polish website 

*Product(s) in this post were provided for my honest review

PS. Don't forget to check out my swatches of the BadAss Polish Are You Ready for Some Football? Collection here.

December 14, 2012

Digit-al Dozen + TGIF: Candy Lacquer Frozen Treats

This week's TGIF: Thank Goodness, Indy Indie Friday! is partnering up with Digit-al Dozen and presents you with Frozen Treats by Candy Lacquer! The two things that come to mind when I think of 'festive' nails is either red+green+gold and icy blues that border on silver. I wanted to mix it up a little at the end of this week and show you a sort of iced treat of rainbow and white glitter paired with a cool, creamy blue. I loved this combo! This post is a little pic heavy because of my love of this combo and to show off the glitter as much as possible.







I dabbled one coat of Candy Lacquer's Frozen Treats over 1 coat of Zoya Kirsten from last year's Feel collection. While painting the base coat color of Kirsten, I thought it was sort of uneven and hard to work with but it seemed to self-level really well! Kirsten is pretty much the perfect wintery blue-grey creme.


Now I'm curious, do you have this polish? Love it, hate it, meh it? It's definitely going in my special 'indie' drawer as a keeper!

Candy Lacquer is available on her website ($8.5) and sometimes on her Etsy storefront ($8.5; yep, same price at both).You can view updates and new colors on the Candy Lacquer Facebook page!

Don't forget to check out Kirsten's TGIF post over at Geeky Owl! Her link is below in the inLinkz along with the other Digital Dozen ladies.



December 13, 2012

BadAss Polish Are You Ready for Some Football? Collection Swatches - Pic Heavy

Hey y'all, I have something super exciting to share with you today! BadAss Polish is a brand-spanking-new indie polish brand and I've got some swatches of the first two gorgeous NFL-inspired polishes from their Are You Ready for Some Football? Collection that I am excited to show you. This post is picture heavy, so I've put the swatches under a cut.


*Product(s) in this post were provided for my honest review.

I want to first talk about the details of these polishes + overall impression, and then there will be tons more photos for you to look at!


Where to purchase: the BadAss Polish Etsy store here

Price: $8.50 for a full sized (.5 fl oz) bottle of glittery goodness

Packaging: Each polish ships in an uber sturdy tube, and comes wrapped in a piece of felt for easier glitter removal. I love that I don't have to claw my way through 15 layers of bubble wrap when I get these new beauties in the mail; I just pull the tube apart with a satisfying 'pop' sound and I am ready to paint! BadAss Polish comes in square bottles which I prefer for easier storage in my Helmer (yes, I really do care about that). The brush handle is a simple, round shiny plastic barrel, but is very comfortable while painting. The brand logo and the name of the polish are displayed on an easy to read label around the front of the bottle, and the tubes are labeled on bottom, too.

tube, Go Pack Go!, felt

Go Pack Go! in its snuggly tube

3-Free? Yep! NO Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), NO Formaldehyde, NO Toluen

My thoughts on the formula: These were hands-down amazing to work with! The glitters are perfectly suspended in the base; I had no issues getting the glitters out or painting with them. The larger glitter pieces in these polishes were incredibly easy to work with and I didn't have to fish at all. Each time I dipped the brush into the bottle, at least one of the large glitter pieces was already on the brush without any additional effort on my part. One of the polishes, America's Team, has star glitter and this is honestly the first glitter polish that includes stars with which I can get the stars onto my nails. Typically with America's Team I got at least one star on each nail without having to try.

Overall: I highly recommend these! If you've ever been nervous or skeptical about indie or handmixed polish, this would be a great brand to start with because the formula is a dream to work with - on par with any traditional brand.

More swatches ahead!


December 12, 2012

Digit-al Dozen: Festive Double Glitter Gradient

What's more festive than a mixed-metal double glitter gradient?! Also, points for anyone that can say that tounge-twister five times fast! Today I have a silver and gold glitter gradient over a very festive, sparkly red. I feel like this would be a great set of nails for a party - not too 'Christmasy', but still fun and sparkly! I wish I had picked a better silver glitter for the bottom portion because I feel like the one I used is a little chunky. Something to remember for next time!



Don't forget to check out the other nails for today! Can't believe we're mid-way through the week already



December 11, 2012

Digit-al Dozen: Abstract Festive Skittles!

Today I've got some funky abstract festively-colored skittles for you! Sometimes I like just doing whatever pops into my head as I go along, so here's a great example of that.


Don't they sort of remind you of ugly Christmas sweaters?! I hand placed the glitters on my middle nail and the glitter on my pinkie is a holiday top coat I handmixed. The only caveat about using red and green together is that they are complimentary colors, and layered they make brown. I used gold in these skittles because I think of gold more frequently paired with red and green - like in poinsettias and the tops of ornaments. What colors make you think of the holidays?


Don't forget to check out the other nails for today! All the newbies are putting me to shame so far this week

December 10, 2012

Digit-al Dozen Does FESTIVENESS!

I have to admit, I find doing holiday themed nail art really intimidating and uninspiring because I feel like the internet is so saturated with amazing and cute Halloween/Christmas nails already....
But it's all good because the second I put winter/holiday themed glitter on my fingers I can't help but feel really excited again! The first mani I have to share with you for this week full of FESTIVENESS is so stinkin' pretty, especially if you like color shifting/opalescent glitters.


This is 2 coats of China Glaze Snow Globe + 1 coat of a different but similar opal glitter from Color Club + some simple white accents on top. Originally I wanted to do a lot more actual art, but I underestimated how incredibly beautiful and sparkly the glitter would be, so I let it shine instead.



Ta-da! An easy and beautiful way to get some wintery nails if you're out of ideas. Also, how amazeballs is that macro shot of China Glaze Snow Globe above? I feel like it gives you the best idea of all the different color shifts in this polish.

Check back the rest of the week for even more festive nails! And check out the other designs below




December 7, 2012

TGIF: Sonoma Nail Art Powlish

This week's TGIF: Thank Goodness, Indy Indie Friday! is 'Powlish' from Sonoma Nail Art! According to Sonoma Nail Art, "Powlish is a tan based polish with glitters in a variety of metalic shades. This polish can be worn on its own or as a top coat over other polishes." For these swatches I layered two coats of Powlish over two coats of Catty (you can see my swatch of Catty here). Because I layered this polish over a foily-finish, it had a really interesting mix of textures. The orange-toned tan colored base of this polish is really different from any other polishes I have, indie or name brand.






I found this polish easy to apply and really unique to my collection!! In the macro photo especially you can notice some bare patches near the tips which was due to my poor application, but is something that I find happens to me with polishes with tinted (and shimmery) bases. Anyhoo, I love this polish and my boyfriend is really impressed with it, too! I love the metallic glitters in this and I find it a great alternative as a twist on a neutral color.



Now I'm curious, do you have this polish? Love it, hate it, meh it? My boyfriend really likes it :p

Sonoma Nail Art polishes are available at her Etsy store ($10). You can view updates and new colors on the Sonoma Nail Art Facebook page

Don't forget to check out Kirsten's TGIF post over at Geeky Owl!