Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Born Pretty Store $20 Gift Card Giveaway Winner!

Yay!  The moment you've been waiting for. :)

Congrats, Emily!  I sent you an email, so please email me back within 24 hours to receive your $20 gift card. :)

Thank you to all my followers and participants!  I'm glad you find this little blog helpful and enjoyable. :)


Monday, July 30, 2012

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2012: Warning! May Put Your Head in Orbit

both polishes layered
It's finally here!  Today I'm happy to present to you two lovely shades from piCture pOlish!  I'll be one of the 80 bloggers participating in this Blog Fest, so don't forget to check out other blogs as well.  Without further ado, I present you...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Preview: OPI Launches the Germany Collection for Fall/Winter 2012

Edgy Elegance

OPI embraces runway trends with the Germany Collection for Fall/Winter 2012. Drawing inspiration from Berlin, an exciting new fashion hub that blends classic looks with the avant-garde, the collection’s twelve shades offer a mixture of vibrant color, urban-chic neutrals, and reds in variations from light to dark.
“Designers showcased rich colors and striking textures for fall,” explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “The Germany Collection beautifully complements these looks, with standout shades in various hues of red and burgundy – the season’s ‘new black.’ Sapphire, black olive and lime yellow are married with creamy neutrals in honey, taupe and nude rose.”
“The overall feel of the Germany Collection is elegance with an edge,” adds Suzi. “The varied palette of colors adds another accent to the list of special touches – think beadwork, paneling, fur and embroidery – that walked the runways during New York Fashion Week. Wearing these shades on fingers and toes is a great way to accessorize a range of looks for the season.”
Germany by OPI includes the following shades:

Don’t Pretzel My Buttons
A haute honey-beige that can always make you smile.

Preview: Nicole by OPI Launches Five NEW Fall Shades, Exclusively at Target

Accessorize with Lacquer!

Nicole by OPI announces five new nail lacquers to be sold exclusively at Target this fall. With richly pigmented formulas in shimmering shades of deep blue, gold, purple, mauve and green, these five hues can be worn as the ultimate accessory to the season’s hottest styles, from military-inspired jackets and heavier brocades to micro floral prints and leather.
 “Nicole by OPI is excited to bring the fashion-forward Target guest new lacquers for the fall season,” remarks Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Nicole by OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “Not only do the shades add the final touch to runway trends, the shimmery finish adds elegance and depth to these trendy colors.
The five new lacquers include:
For Gold Times Sake
Go on and try on this gold…

Preview: OPI Launches New Diamond Dust-Infused Designer Series Shades for Fall 2012

Indulge in Luxurious Lacquers!

            OPI releases two new high-shine hues – DS Indulgence and DS Luxurious – to join the Designer Series by OPI collection this fall. Fusing fashion and technology, the Designer Series lacquer formula is enhanced with real diamond dust, offering light reflecting, multidimensional color.
DS Indulgence, a radiant red-violet with a shimmering, golden finish, will launch along with DS Luxurious, a captivating coral-red with a golden glisten. With these two additions, Designer Series by OPI will offer 12 glitter-filled, highly-saturated, breathtaking colors.
            “Red nails are the epitome of glamour, and this fall OPI is adding two dazzling reds to the Designer Series line,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “With vivid color and intense shimmer and shine, these lacquers create a bold, high-fashion accessory statement. DS Indulgence provides a deeper, classic red look, while DS Luxurious incorporates rich auburn pigments.”
Designer Series by OPI nail lacquers contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and each includes OPI’s exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application. DS Indulgence and DS Luxurious will be available beginning September 2012 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $12.50 ($14.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer. 

For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com.  Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

As the world leader in the professional nail care industry, OPI is committed to providing high-quality products and services to both salons and their customers, along with a focus on industry safety and innovation. Known for its exceptional formula, fashionable colors and iconic names, OPI’s heavily-pigmented lacquers are super rich, long-lasting and chip-resistant – offering an affordable luxury to consumers. OPI nail lacquer is available in over 200 shades and contains no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde. Each lacquer features OPI’s exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application. Currently, OPI is available in over 100 countries and retails a full line of professional items, including nail treatments, finishing products, lotions, manicure/pedicure products, files, tools, gels and acrylics.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paper Crane Nail Art

I've always loved paper cranes.  Folding them out of squares of pretty paper is childhood memory, and I love how whimsical they look.  Naturally, I had to attempt a paper crane mani.  How could I not?  Don't worry, I didn't try to draw a 1,000 of them. ;)

First I started out with gradient using Julep Sasha and Milani Beach Front.  I also brushed on Skinfood Pedicure Sparkle in 01 Sparkle Gold between Sasha and Beach Front.  I think this provided a nice transition, since I painted the gradient on rather than using a sponge.  I finished off the gradient by dabbing on some Milani Jewel Fx Gold.

On my thumb, I outlined a simplified image of a paper crane in white.  Then I went over the outlines in black and colored the crane white.

What do you think?  Let me know in the comments! :)


Born Pretty Store 12 Color Dried Flower Wheel

Hey all!  Today I have this pretty wheel of dried flowers to show you. :)

This is Born Pretty Store's 12 colors Ubique Dry Dried Flower UV Nail Art Design*!  So many colors!  (P.S. The wheel is bigger than the ones rhinestones usually come in.)  There are two types of flowers in this wheel. 

The bigger flowers (left) come in sets of 5, while the clusters (right) comes in sets of 2-4.  Since these are dried flowers expect to handle them gently, but they were not as fragile as I expected them to be.  This made it easy to pick up and place the flowers.  The dried flowers are pretty thin and lie very close to the nail.  The cluster is a bit more bumpy, but nothing too crazy.

I think these look best over a light base and in simple manis.  Here's the look I did. :)

In addition to the flowers, I used:
Essie Bikini So Teeny (base)
Essie As Gold As It Gets (gold flakies)
L.A. Colors Art Deco 24K Glitter (gold stripes)

Verdict: I love that anyone can use these, even if you have zero talent at nail art.  They are easy to use and look great without the time investment.

You can purchase these at Born Pretty Store for only $4.45 (free worldwide shipping).  Not bad, aye?  Born Pretty also offers other nail art* supplies, polishes, and accessories as well.  Feel free to use the code below for 10% off!

Have you ever used dried flowers?  If you haven't, is this something you would use?  I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)

Links followed by an * are affiliate links.
*The polishes reviewed in this post were sent to me for my honest review.
Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

American Apparel Sheer Nail Polish Swatches

When American Apparel first sent me the press release for these new Sheer Nail Lacquers, I was both excited and skeptical.  I loved the gradients they did in the images, but would an average person be able to recreate the gradients as well?  Let's see!

Zuma Beach (1 to 4 coats successively from left to right): a build-able sheer lime green jelly.  As you can see, 1 coat is very sheer; however, you can build up the color to full creme-like opacity in 4 coats.  3 coats will give you good coverage as well, while maintaining the jelly finish.

The fact that these polishes can become as sheer and opaque as you would like means you can easily layer them over polishes to create a gradient.  If you have time, you can actually get a very nice gradual gradient.  You can also use more than two colors for a tie-dye effect.  Please note that since these are macro shots, the gradients may not seem as smooth.  Of course, it won't be like those sponge gradients, but since your eyes meld the colors together (while a camera picks them apart) it won't look as choppy in real life.

Manhattan Beach (1 to 4 coats successively from left to right): a bright coral jelly.  Very similar to Julep Sasha, but Sasha is a creme and therefore looks less translucent and more muted.  Between the two, I like Manhattan Beach by far because of its lower price and better formula.  I found this color to be the most opaque of the three I've tried.  It was jelly opaque in 2 and creme opaque at 3.

Zuma Beach (green) blends almost seamlessly into Manhattan Beach.  Don't you think so?  For the best gradients, try layering both colors over each other where the two colors meet.

Redondo Beach (1 to 4 coats successively from left to right): a dark sky blue jelly.  I found this to be a bit streaky?  Not sure if that's the word, but you can see that the color is uneven at 3 coats.  I found it fully opaque at 4.

As you can see, colors that sit closer to each on the color wheel will obviously blend better (like the green and blue).  More different colors like the red and blue are a bit harder to blend seemlessly; however, a more tie-dye like gradient is possible between all colors.  I really liked using all 3 colors together.  For some reason these colors remind me of sour gummies.  Yum!

Verdict:  Love!  The polishes I tried delivered on their sheer and opaque claim.  I found all three can be both sheer and opaque, which means you can layer any color over another without overpowering it.  I also found these fun to use!  If you're like me and like the process of painting your nails, you'll enjoy these.  Take your time layering different colors to make new colors and pretty gradients.

There are 3 other colors in this line: Summerland Beach (light pink), Moonlight Beach (dark blue), Pacific Beach (bright green-teal).  I know for sure that Pacific Beach will be mine.  I might pick up the other two as well, since I imagine the light pink would go well with the coral, while the dark blue would go well with the sky blue.

P.S. I love these frosted square bottles!  So pretty!

You can purchase Sheer Nail Polishes from American Apparel's nail store* online for $6.00 each (15ml).  They also carry other types of nail polish, such as cremes, metallics, glitters, and neons.  Some of these can also be purchased in either a 3-pack or 7-pack set for 15-20% off respectively. :)

Links followed by an * are affiliate links.
*The polishes reviewed in this post were sent to me for my honest review.
Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Lovin' Sailboat Nail Art Tutorial

Omygosh, you guys.  It's almost 3:30am, and I'm up writing this post.  Crazy!  I put a lot of work into this, so you better like it! :P

In case you missed my last post, this tutorial is for the following look:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Have you heard of Copious?

Hey guys!

Thought I'd drop in to tell you about this hot new (?) site.  I posted this on my FB page, but in case you don't follow me there...here it is:

YOU GUYS. I just found out about this online marketplace called Copious where you can buy and sell anything fashion/beauty related. You can get a $10 credit when you join via an invite. Feel free to use my referral link: http://copious.com/invites/500a28aa6058f13db60128c9

You'll also get a sign up bonus of $25 and...

After you join (or if you're an existing member), click this link http://t.co/dnzyzktr to get another $10 credit! Expires on 7/25.

Have fun shopping. ;)

I'm still exploring the site, so if you're an experienced Copious member, please feel free to leave your advice, etc in the comments. :)


Summer Lovin' Sailboat Nails

Sweet and simple post today.  I was inspired by this set of nails featured in Vivi June 2012:
Click to see the magazine scan

I modified it to fit my taste and ta da~

I have a step-by-step tutorial in cue, so check back tomorrow!  Until then, hope you all have a lovely Friday.


Julep Maven August Boxes

Mavens, which box are you getting this month?  I'm usually Boho, and I'll probably stay with it.  I'm kind of on the edge with month's boxes.  I'm not a big metallics fan and none of the colors besides Piper really call out to me.  (I'm a sucker for mints).

You can see swatches of these colors on Julep's blog.

If you're not a Maven and would like to join, you can use my link to visit Julep Maven*.  Please note that your first box will be the introductory box.  I believe you can use code PENNY to get your first box for only a penny. :)

Links followed by an * are affiliate links.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New tab: Application Guide

Hi guys!  I just added a new tab below the header labeled: Application Guide.  I had a lot of scattered application tips throughout the blog, so I gathered them all up into one neat post.  You can find helpful suggestions on how to apply troublesome formulas like mattes, holos, sheers, etc.  If you want to look up the specific posts these tips were featured in, just scroll down to the tag cloud and hit tips.

Hope you find this helpful!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Born Pretty Store Iced Mylar Sheets Review

Hey guys!  Those of you who follow me on Facebook might have seen my 'coming soon' post previewing various nail art manis I have done in the past few days.  I meant to get the sailboat nail art up first, but I took an insane amount of pictures, so I hope you understand the delay!  I promise it will be up soon complete with a tutorial.  Yay?

In the meantime, let's take a look at these Iced Mylar Sheets* from Born Pretty Store nail art* section.

Aren't they pretty?  This set contains 12 different colored mylar flakies that glow with an iridescent sheen.  I used a couple different colored flakies for the nail look shown below.

For this review, let's consider the following aspects of the flakies: color, texture, and value.

Color: I made sure to layer these over both a dark base and a light base to see if there are any visual differences.  As far as I can tell, many of the colors look similar over a dark base.  Warmer colors will reflect more warmer tones, while the opposite is true of cool colored flakies.  For example, the light blue flakie will reflect less yellow compared to the red flakie.  However, both warm and cool colored flakies reflect ranges of orange, yellow, green, pink and purple.  When layered over a light base, the actual color of the flakie is much more apparent.  Overall, I love how they look almost crystal-like in any lighting condition.

Texture:  While these receive a plus for me in the color department, I can't say I'm a big fan of the texture.  Since they are mylar flakies (think SinfulColors Green Ocean), a certain thickness is to be expected.  I personally found these to be a bit too thick.  Some of the flakies are folded over several times, and some are simply too big.  This means they will not lie flat on your nail; they will stick up and look chunky.  If this is not your cup of tea, I would suggest steering clear.  If you don't mind some texture on your nails or can trade-off texture for the multi-dimensional look, mylar flakies might just be for you.

A helpful tip is to use a pair of tweezers to pick out the flakies.  Rub a small amount between your fingers to pull them apart.  You can also pick through the container for thinner/smaller flakies, but this will require some patience.

Value:  At $6.48, you will receive 12 containers filled to the brim with different colored flakies.  Like I said, if you don't mind the texture, this is a decent deal.  There is a lot in each container!  After one mani, my containers still look unused.  Considering I won't be wearing a mylar mani every day, I imagine these will last me well over a year.

A few more pictures, and my verdict below:

Verdict: I have a love-hate relationship with these.  I adore the look.  They have that multi-colored iridescent sheen I sometimes crave, and are different from the flakies found in polishes like Essie Shine of Times that have a duochrome/multichrome quality to it.  For these, you can see many colors without shifting your fingers.  This is due to the thickness and the crumpled texture.  If only they were just a bit thinner, or separated better, or cut smaller.  If only, if only...  I don't mind texture; I wear rhinestones and glitter all the time.  But I hate how the flakies stick up and poke at you.  So yes, I can see myself using these when I have the time to pick out the smaller flakies, but I don't see myself using them as often as I'd like.

If you would like to purchase this or any other item from Born Pretty Store, you can use the code below to receive 10% off! :)

Links followed by an * are affiliate links.
*The polishes reviewed in this post were sent to me for my honest review.
Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Preview: China Glaze New Bohemian Collection

~J.R.R. Tolkein

China Glaze® Introduces Six Radiant Luster Chromes for Fall 2012

Los Angeles, CA – (June 2012): Say the word “Bohemian” and most people automatically think bell-bottoms and fringed vests.  Today’s Bohemian look is refined, feminine and carefree, epitomized by fashion icon Nicole Richie’s modern Bohemian look.  China Glaze®gives the free-spirited look a fresh, trendy spin with its latest specialty collection, New Bohemian.China Glaze® New Bohemian will leave you mesmerized as the color shifts and moves across the nail, traveling with the light.  The chrome-like finish radiates with high shine and intense color, captivating your senses with every twist and turn.

Push the boundaries of color and fashion with the unconventional collection of six lustrous shades including:

·         Unpredictable–Multidimensionalgorgeous green
·         Rare & Radiant – Extraordinarily richgold
·         Swanky Silk – Brilliant beige with peach undertones
·         No Plain Jane – Lavish lavender-pink
·         Want My Bawdy – Sexy sapphire blue
·         Deviantly Daring – Adventurously bold peacock teal

The China Glaze®New Bohemian collection will be available at fine salons and beauty supply stores nationwide in August 2012.  Individual polishes retail for $6.99 MSRP.

China Glaze is free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde. China Glaze nail lacquers are available through salons and professional beauty supply stores nationwide. For more information, visit: www.chinaglaze.com or follow China Glaze on Facebook (@ChinaGlaze), Twitter (@ChinaGlazeOfficial) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/ChinaGlaze).China Glaze is a division of American International Industries.

About American International Industries
For nearly 40 years, AII has been the leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of innovative, quality beauty and skin care products for men and women.  Our product lines include Ardell, Andrea, Body Drench, Bye Bye Blemish, Checi, China Glaze, Clean + Easy, Clubman/Pinaud, Duo, European Secrets, EzFlow, Fright Night, Gena, GiGi, Gypsy Lash, IBD, Jeris-Lustray, Nail Tek, No Tweeze/Micro Tweeze, 'N Rage, Prolinc, RAW, Seche, SuperNail, Surgi-Care, Waterworks, Winning Nails, Woltra, Woody’s, and Youthair. For more information, visit our website: www.aiibeauty.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

1000 Follower Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway!  I just picked a winner. :)  The announcement can be viewed in the original giveaway widget as well.  So let's see who the winner is!


Congrats to Stephanie P! Stephanie has already responded to my email, so the winner is set.

If you didn't win this giveaway, don't worry.  You can check out my Born Pretty Store giveaway for a chance at winning a $20 gift card to their store.  It's open to both US and international followers. :)  Good luck!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

China Glaze Fall 2012 On Safari Swatches

Hello, hello!  I'm so excited to show you these new China Glaze On Safari shades today.  I have five from the collection, so let's get to it! :D  My swatches are all shown without top coat. 

Man Hunt, 2 coats: bright blue creme-jelly hybrid.  I love how blue this is.  It looks navy indoors, but outdoors it's so blue and yummy.  It seemed more like a jelly on the first coat, but it became nice and opaque at two.  Even though it's opaque, I think it still looks kind of squishy.  The formula was nice as well.

Exotic Encounters, 2 coats: a dusty teal-green creme.  The formula was excellent on this one.  It practically painted itself.  Exotic Encounters was also the color I was most excited about, and it didn't disappoint!

Purr-fect Plum, 2 coats: a dark plum/berry creme.  Nothing too unique, but quite flattering.  I know this is going on my toes once fall rolls around.  The formula was good like the others.

I Herd That, 3 coats: very fine gold and orange glitter with blue and green glitters; possibly holographic.  The glitters are so fine, it's hard to tell.  I mostly get glowing blues and greens sparkling through the mass of gold and orange, but it does have a holographic glitter quality to it because of how sparkly it is.  This is one of the colors that would have escaped my radar if I hadn't had a chance to try it out myself.  The blue and green glitters really make this one for me.  I love it a lot more than I thought it would.  The formula was perfect, and it becomes relatively opaque in 2 coats.

Prey Tell, 2 coats: a vampy maroon-brown creme.  Look how shiny and squishy this is!  I found the formula to be okay.  It required some concentration on my part, just because of how dark it is.  It was a little harder to get clean rounded edges near the cuticles, and dry time was a bit slow.  I'd recommend waiting a little between coats to avoid drag.

Verdict: All the colors I've tried had excellent formulas, except for Prey Tell.  Even then I'd say that Prey Tell was one of the less finicky vampy red-browns I have tried so far.  I knew from the beginning that I was going to love Exotic Encounters, and it lived up to my expectations in both color and formula.  Also included in my list of favorites are Man Hunt and I Herd That, which turned out to be an unexpected favorite.

The China Glaze® On Safari collection will be available at fine salons and beauty supply stores nationwide in July 2012.  Individual polishes retail for $7 MSRP; the 6-piece sets retail for $42 MSRP. 

*The polishes reviewed in this post were sent to me for my honest review.
Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.