Saturday, December 31, 2011

China Glaze Blue Year's Eve

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! Can you believe a whole year has flown by so quickly? I know I had a pretty good year, all things considered, and I hope yours was just as great!

To celebrate the New Year, I'm wearing a perfectly named polish: China Glaze Blue Year's Eve. China Glaze does a glass fleck like nobody's business, and this is a prime example. Blue Year's Eve is a blue glass fleck polish, very festive but it could easily be worn during the summer as well. In the bottle, it shows a slight purple duochrome. It was there on the nails too, at more extreme angles, but I just couldn't capture it on film!

2 coats
See that slight purple in the bottle? 

China Glaze glass flecks are to die for!

Then I added a fun glitter, NYX Girls Prismatic Gold. It's made up of chunky gold hex glitters and smaller micro glitter, some of which are holographic. Very pretty and very New Year's!

I hope you have fun but SAFE plans in mind for tonight. I know that AAA is offering free rides home to everyone, not just AAA customers, for the whole night if you call 1-800-222-4357. Be safe and have a great New Year's Eve!

- Aly

** some of these products were sent for review**

Monday, December 26, 2011

China Glaze Champagne Bubbles

After a great Green Bay Packer win yesterday, I decided to show you another of my favorite Packer colors: GOLD! I don't own much yellow or gold nail polish, so I was hesitant about Champagne Bubbles. The lovely people at China Glaze sent it for review though, and I am glad they did. It's a beautiful color I might not have tried on my own!

China Glaze released Champagne Bubbles in the Let It Snow Collection for Holiday 2011. It's a very unique polish, I've never seen one like it! It's a golden frosty metallic polish with little glitters in it. A rare, but beautiful, combination. Note: this picture is from the vault, so my nails may look a little shorter -- don't worry, I didn't cut them!

Here is 2 coats of Champagne Bubbles, with Seche Vite on top.

Isn't it just lovely?! This shade of gold works really well with my skintone, so that is an added bonus for me :D It's very rich and very pigmented, and the glitter just takes it to a whole new level! 

What do you think about this unique shade?

- Aly

**this product was sent for review**

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Julep Glitter Pots and a Packer Mani!

First off, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! I hope everyone has been having an absolutely lovely holiday season.

In my last Julep Maven box, the same one that had Helena, I also received a gold glitter pot. The idea behind a glitter pot is that it's an easy way to add lots of bling to any mani. You just apply polish normally, wait till it's tacky (not super wet!), and dip your nail into the loose glitter. Since my glitter was gold, and I loooove the Green Bay Packers, I decided to do a Packer manicure.

My base color is Julep Emilie, a lovely green that is a dupe to OPI Jade is the New Black. I prefere Emilie overall though, because it's more opaque and my application went more smoothly.

Click me, I'm pretty xD

I love this glittery look! Hopefully it'll bring the Pack some luck after a bad, bad game last week. I really like the idea of Julep Glitter Pots. I haven't seen many loose glitters made specifically for nail art, so it's nice to know that the glitter in these won't melt or anything crazy like some craft glitters do. 

If you'd like to become a Julep Maven, click HERE to use my referral link and get a great deal on your first Maven box!

- Aly

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Chevrons

Hi there, and a special hello to all my new followers! The lovely Traci linked to my blog and I am soooo happy to say that I've reached 400 followers with her help! Thanks so much, girls :)

Today for you I have some sparkly Christmas chevrons. The red is Color Club Santa's Cinnamon, which is your classic jelly red with red glitter -- but this one smells delicious! It smells like real cinnamon candies, you know those ones in the red wrappers? Seriously lovely, Color Club did an awesome job with the scent. On the tips, I used China Glaze Glittering Garland. It's a gorgeous deep emerald with green-gold glass flecks. I freehanded the chevron design, but you could use tape if that would be easier :)

I also took a picture of Santa's Cinnamon by itself. I love these glittering reds, they are just so perfect for the holiday season! And honestly, I could rave about the scent all day :D

It's my first full day back home after exams, and I am so happy to be here! I packed about 30 polishes so I could keep blogging during winter break, though some are very summery because I am going on vacation to Puerto Rico! I wanted to do some more tropical shades in celebration of that, especially after all the Christmassy colors I have been wearing.

- Aly

**some of these products were provided for review**

Monday, December 19, 2011

China Glaze Tinsel Town

Happy Monday everyone! I am happy to report that I only have one more thing to turn in before my finals are officially over! In celebration, I thought it seemed like a good day for glitter :)

Tinsel Town was recently released as part of the China Glaze Holiday 2011 Let It Snow collection. I know a lot of us went crazy about the re-released Snow Globe, but Tinsel Town deserves some attention too. Tinsel Town is a charcoal jelly base with two sizes of silver glitter. It went on sheer but evened out in 2 coats. Though it looks a bit thin in pictures, it was very much opaque at 2 coats in real life.

Click me!

This glitter is soooo pretty. It's festive but in an original way. It looks great for the Holiday season, but I can see myself wearing this one year round. The charcoal base is gorgeous, and really like the jelly-like look it has. It gives Tinsel Town lots of depth! 

I received this polish in the Winter Ice set, which includes 4 polishes: Blue Year's Eve, Tinsel Town, Icicle, and Snow Globe. Plus it comes with a really pretty snowflake necklace. I'm sure you have gotten sets before where the little "gift" is flimsy or ugly, but I seriously love the necklace. It is super festive and shiny! 

Nestled among my crochet ^-^

Well, that's all I have for you today. I'll be reviewing a couple more of the Let It Snow polishes soon. Also, I need some help. I am going home for Winter Break in a couple days, and I have to choose what polishes to bring home! I'm going to be there for like a month. How do I chooooose. This is a big crisis when you paint your nails as much as I do! Is there anything you'd like to see? Here's a LINK to my stash spreadsheet (which is not exactly up to date, sorry).

- Aly

**these products were sent for review**

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Eyes

Today's post is a little something different. I wanted to show you all an eye look I did for the holiday season. I tried to make this look festive but not crazy or tacky. For this look, I used shadows from the Tarte Holiday 2009 Treasure Chest Palette, which sadly don't have names.

In the corner of my eye I have a silver sparkly shadow, and from that a gold one. On the majority of the lid I have a light burgundy color, with a bit of maroon in the crease and on the outer corner. I lined my eyes with dampened sage green shadow. Finally, I added Urban Decay Heavy Metal in Mullet, which is a glitter liner. My mascara is Maybelline One by One.

I really love doing eye makeup as well as nails, so it was fun for me to make this post! Please let me know if you like it :) 

- Aly

P.S. I just switched to a new comment system, and I lost all my old ones. It is so heartbreaking! Leave me a new comment if you like, I really miss being able to see them all. EDIT: I got them to transfer! YAY!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

China Glaze Christmas Mani!

The other night there was an ugly Christmas sweater party at SLU. Along with my very tacky sweater, I decided to do a Christmas-themed manicure. I used Holly-Day for the green, Poinsettia for the red, and Twinkle Lights for the glitter. The design was freehanded with a nail art brush, and I used a dotting tool to add Twinkle Lights.

I was loosely inspired by those little drums that you always see around Christmas, like this ornament:

When doing this mani, I absolutely fell in love with Holly-Day. I have some other China Glaze greens, like Starboard, but something about Holly-Day just screams Christmas and the holiday season. It was also very pigmented, which helped a lot when I was freehanding the design.

- Aly

** some of these products were provided for review**

Julep Maven for a Penny!

Hi everyone! This morning I received a very exciting piece of information from Julep Nail Parlor. They are starting a new form of referral program, called Share On! The best part?

The first 1,000 new Mavens referred will get their first box for a penny!

I think that is an amazing deal. I've said it before -- I am obsessed with the Julep Maven program. The quality is awesome, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know that I will also receive credit if you join using my link. 

CLICK HERE and use the code SHAREON to become a Julep Maven and receive your first box for just one cent! 

- Aly

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Huge Julep Giveaway!

Currently Julep is hosting a giveaway of ALL 60 of their nail lacquers!

Click THIS LINK to enter! Good luck :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Promo

I am a HUGE fan of The Hunger Games trilogy, so when I heard that China Glaze had a Hunger Games-themed collection in the works, I got very excited! Today I received the official promo picture with the names of the upcoming polishes. They look so beautiful, and I think I want every single one :)

Click to enlarge!

The ones that really stand out to me are Fast Track, Smoke and Ashes, Agro, Electrify and Luxe and Lush. Actually... Harvest Moon and Riveting are gorgeous too. And I like the neutrals! :D This whole collection looks beautiful to me. I can't wait to see them in real life!

Which catches your eye?

- Aly

Dollar Nail Art Transfer Foils: Aegean Tides

A while ago a purchased a TON of different nail transfer foils from Dollar Nail Art. Their selection is gigantic, and you get a full 5 feet of nail foil for just $1.00, but you have to spend at least $25 to place an order. Well...on their site, that isn't hard to do! Needless to say, I bought lots of gorgeous nail foils to show off :) It took me a couple practice runs until I had some that looked "blogworthy." Finally, I think these are worth a look!

This transfer foil is called Aegean Tides. It's a super shiny and holographic blue foil with wave-like patterns. I applied over a blue polish, because that makes any gaps where the foil does not transfer look a lot nicer.

So pretty! I know that my application is far from perfect, but from a normal distance these transfer foils looked amazing! Super duper shiny, lots of holographic rainbows going on, and a gorgeous shade of blue. There is so much to love about Aegean Tides.

If you want to try out nail transfer foils, they are available at a verrrry reasonable price at Dollar Nail Art. I've seen a couple on ebay as well, but they were much more expensive. You also need special nail transfer foil glue, which I also got from Dollar Nail Art. 

Have you ever tried nail transfer foils?

- Aly

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dollish Polish Expecto Patronum

Hey, everyone! Today I have a polish I am really excited about. I bought it from Dollish Polish on Etsy. She makes all sorts of beautiful movie and book inspired franken polishes. I purchased a couple from her, and today I wanted to show you the first.

This is called Expecto Patronum, and it's named after the Patronus spell in Harry Potter. I think she did a great job of capturing the colors of a Patronus. Expecto Patronum is a milky white with lots of turquoise shimmer and glitters. It also has some sparse flakies that add to the magical look. It was easy to apply in 2 thin coats, though I do recommend giving it a good shake before applying. Click these pictures for an even closer look at its beauty :)


For reference, in case you haven't seen Harry Potter (in which case, go watch it!), here is a gif of Hermione and her patronus.

I think the Expecto Patronum polish really captured the beauty and magic quite well! I purchased it in a mini bottle from Dollish Polish's Etsy shop for only $4.00. I am very impressed with it. What do you think?

- Aly

P.S. Today is the last day before the start of final exams here at SLU. I am not happy about that AT ALL, and I might be slow to post during the exam time. Lots of studying is going on in my dorm room, and not much nail painting. Wish me lots of luck!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dr.'s REMEDY Jolly & Joy Holiday 2011

Today we have a full review of the Jolly & Joy Holiday 2011 Collection released by Dr.'s REMEDY. This collection consists of 5 lacquers, each one very appropriate for the season. This was my first experience with Dr.'s REMEDY and I have to say I am wholly impressed!! First, let's take a look at the swatches. Then I can rave about the formula :) All swatches are without base or top coat.

A shimmer-infused, Wizard of Oz-inspired shade of crimson
2 coats
I love the glowy look of this one. It is absolutely stunning and very bright. I think this is the perfect shade of red for the Holiday season. In fact, I think this will be what I wear on Christmas morning! 

A bombshell-boysenberry with subtle silver meshed throughout
2 coats
I don't love this one quite as much as REVIVE Ruby Red, but it is still quite beautiful. The shade is really nice against my skintone, but I wish it had that same glow as REVIVE Ruby Red.

A take on the classic tree-and-plant-inspired gem of a shade, 
with delicate glimmer and unparalleled amounts of glamour
2 coats
I love this! I have seen grass greens before, but never with such a strong silver shimmer running through. It's very flattering and the shimmer makes it totally unique to my collection.

SERENE Silver Glitter
A seasonal sizzler like no other: shine, chic, totally unique in the metallic scene
2 coats
Holy cow, I love this! It's called SERENE Silver Glitter, but it is super fun and colorful! This glitter is made up of silver, red, and blue glitters. I've never seen that combination before, and it is very dense.

A red-meets-copper spin that’s sequin-look-alike laden with high-shine and sparkle
2 coats
This is another super unique color! The reddish copper is very pretty and holiday appropriate. This one was dense as well, and covered easily with no dragging. 

Aren't they pretty? Each lacquer from the Jolly & Joy Collection covered smoothly in 2 thin coats, even the glitters! There isn't one color in this collection that I would not wear. REVIVE Ruby Red is so glowy and lit from within, I absolutely adore it. My other favorites are ESSENTIAL Emerald and SERENE Silver Glitter. 

The formula on these was sublime! Very smooth application, no streaks or pulling. I think that Dr.'s REMEDY did a great job on that. Before trying their lacquers, I thought the $17 price tag might be a little high but now I know it is completely worth it! The colors are unique, even to my huge collection, and the formula is lovely. Plus, they are all 3 Free and enriched with natural ingredients. It's nice to see a company putting hand and nail health at the forefront of their brand.

If you have your eye on one of these lacquers, they are currently on sale for a special price of only $14 at Dr.'s REMEDY or by calling 888-323-NAIL. 

Thanks for sticking with me through the long post. What do you think of the Dr.'s REMEDY Jolly & Joy Holiday 2011 Collection?

- Aly

**these products were provided for review**

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 21: Inspired by a Color -- Julep Helena

Happy Wednesday everyone! Now that I think of it, I haven't done Pink Wednesday in quite some time. I will have to get back on track once I finish with the 30 Day Challenge. Today was called "Inspired by a Color," which I found a little confusing. So, I decided to just go with a color that is absolutely gorgeous! That's inspirational enough in my book :)

Here I have 2 coats of Julep Helena, with 1 coat Julep Fast Dry Top Coat.

It's even brighter in real life! In fact, it shows up more like the bottle color in this photo!

Today I received my December Julep Maven box in the mail, and boy is this a good one! The December It Girl box contained Julep Helena, which I just showed you. It also comes with a fast dry top coat, gorgeous studded look nail appliqués, and a glitter pot for glitter-dipped nails! I am totally happy with this box. :) Plus, the packaging was beautiful and holiday-themed. 

I am such a huge fan of the Maven program. I think everyone should give it a try! You know I am telling the truth because I don't even have a referral link yet :P Honestly, it's such a great deal for such beautiful, high quality products. Let me know if you try it out!

- Aly

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 20: Water Marble

Hey everyone! Now I'm officially 2/3 of the way through the 30 Day Challenge. Feels good :) This challenge is more difficult and time consuming than I had expected, but I am still glad to have taken it on.

I know a lot of bloggers were dreading the Water Marble challenge, but I LOVE doing water marbles. Sure, they aren't the quickest or easiest, but they are fun and I love how they look in the end. Some people worry that it is a waste of polish, but when you have as many as I do, you don't really mind that ;)

For today's marble, I used OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, OPI Don't Know...Beets Me!, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, and China Glaze First Mate. First, I put down a coat of underwear, though I can't remember what white I used. Then I marbled in my trusty marbling cup, and this is what I came up with!

I like my middle finger the best!

Originally, I was just going to use the teals and blues, but I am glad I added the pink. I think it really makes all the colors pop! If you try a marble at home, make sure you either tape off your nails or put on vaseline/cuticle oil around them before marbling. Otherwise, you'll get polish ALL OVER the place. I prefer to use cuticle oil, but to each her own :)

- Aly

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 19: Galaxies

Today's challenge is the galaxy manicure. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to make a nice looking manicure, because this look comes off as incredibly challenging. Still, in the spirit of the 30 Day Challenge, I was encouraged to give it a try. To those who are going to try this out: be warned! It is beautiful but it is rather time consuming. In the end though, this gorgeous look is 100% worth it.

For this manicure, I used 10 different polishes: NARS Zulu, Essie Going Incognito, Zoya Mitzi, Orly Spark, OPI Planks a Lot, China Glaze First Mate, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, Sally Hansen DVD, Orly Space Cadet, and China Glaze White on White. The description of how I did this is a bit complicated. Basically, there was a lot of sponging involved! For the spiral on my ring finger, I used the very tip of the sponge so I could aim a bit better. If you want a tutorial, let me know and I'll get to work on one. In the meantime, take a look :)

Outdoors, sunlight

Indoors, fluorescent light

Click this! Trust me on this one :)

Overall, I am in LOVE with this manicure. It is so beautiful. I was showing this one off to everyone, practically shoving my nails in peoples' faces! I think that the addition of Sally Hansen DVD and Orly Space Cadet really make a huge effect. The duochrome glass flecks are really something special. 

So far, this is my absolute favorite challenge. I probably wouldn't have dared to try it if I weren't doing the 30 Day. I'm so glad I did!

- Aly

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 18: Half Moons

Today's challenge is Half Moons. I've always thought this was an elegant look, but I hadn't tried it out for myself until today. To be completely honest, this was harder than I expected! I tried using paper reinforcement stickers as little guides, but it just wasn't working. Since I am right-handed, I always do my left hand first as practice. Trust me, you do NOT even want to know how ugly my left hand turned out. :P Luckily for you, I always photograph my right hand. I guess that is a little backwards, since that means I am always showing you the painting and freehand skills of my non-dominant hand... Oh, well. I'm in the habit now and it seems silly to switch. By the time I got to my right hand, I decided to just freehand the half moons. They could be better, but I still like the look just how it turned out.

Anyway! I was really in a purple mood when I did this mani, so I chose OPI Pamplona Purple as the base. Pamplona Purple is a very red purple crème released in the Spain Collection, and it is one of my favorite go-to colors. For the second color, I chose Orly Rococo A-Go-Go, which was just released in the Mineral FX Collection.

I love this Orly SO much!

So, can we just talk about how gorgeous Rococo A-Go-Go is?! Honestly, it is just so pigmented and beautiful. The base is a very dark eggplant and it has lots of pretty duochrome glass flecks. Right after I first swatched it, I mentally put Orly Rococo A-Go-Go into my top 20. It's just amazing. Go buy it now if you haven't; the Mineral FX will be out of stores soon I'm sure. 

- Aly

P.S. Happy Friday, everyone! I had a long week and I think it's time we all appreciate the weekend :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 17: Glitter -- China Glaze Snow Globe

It's Glitter day! Luckily, the polish companies have been inundating the market with tons of glitter this holiday season. I am a big glitter lover, so that's a welcome development as far as I am concerned :)

China Glaze Snow Globe was a re-release that was recently promoted with their newest holiday collection, Let It Snow. Snow Globe is a clear base filled with two sizes of dense iridescent hex glitters. It is absolutely beautiful in the bottle, and I couldn't wait to get it on my nails. In these pictures, I am wearing it over L.A. Girl Disco in Hustle, a bright purple crème that glows under blacklight.

Click me! I'm even prettier up close!

China Glaze Snow Globe is hands down a big winner. The glitter is packed in very densely, and I was able to get great coverage in 2 easy coats. It didn't go on too thick like some glitters do, and dried totally smooth with 1 thin coat of Seche Vite on top. I am thoroughly impressed! 

- Aly