Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 of 2011

Hello! Here's my promised favorites list. It was hard to pick just 10 but I stuck to polishes that really wowed me in one way or another, whether it was formula, finish, or color.  These are listed in no particular order, and you can click each picture to go to the original review. Feel free to let me know what your personal favorites are in the comments. Happy New Year!

1) Sinful Colors - Happy Ending

2) Nicole by OPI - Shell Me The Truth

3) OPI - Stranger Tides

4) Essie - Your Hut or Mine

5) Milani - Hi-Tech

6) Orly - Lemonade

7) Zoya - Zara

8) Sally Hansen - Model Behavior

9) Color Club - Ms. Socialite

10) China Glaze - Peace on Earth

Thank you all for sharing this space with me over the last year. It makes me so happy to know that my hobby is something others delight in as well. Here's to many pretty polishes in the new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Color Club - Nouveau Vintage

Hello there! I hope you all had wonderful holidays. It's amazing that the year is coming to a close, and that my first blog anniversary is just around the corner in February! This will likely be the last swatch of 2011 but there's always more around the corner. I'm planning on doing a favorites post as well. With that said, let's have a look at today's polish. Nouveau Vintage is a fairly new release, having come out this year. I was quite excited by it in the promo pictures and in swatches, and I finally got my hands on it via swap. It's a lovely fall-type color, a rich brown-bronze with hints of gold and green. In the bottle it looks quite green and I was hoping for more of that to show on the nail but I'm still very pleased with it. Color Club makes some great polishes and I think they deserve more attention! The formula on this was fairly good, generally even and opaque in 2 coats.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

China Glaze - Strawberry Fields

Hello everyone! I recently bought polish for the first time in a while and this is part of what I got. I've seen a lot of raves about Strawberry Fields so I had to try it for myself. It's a juicy pink packed full of gold shimmer. It reminds me a lot of China Glaze Ahoy!; the main differences are that Ahoy!'s base color is deeper and its shimmer is more of a pink-gold, whereas SF is a lighter, less berry pink and the shimmer is purely golden. The shimmer also shows up better in SF. It was an absolute pleasure to put on, fully opaque in 2 coats and smooth. I haven't been buying much polish lately because I have so many untrieds and there aren't many colors coming out that I'm very excited about, but I'm sure I'll never run out of colors to wear. :)

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Friday, December 16, 2011

OPI - Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous

Hello everyone! Still on schedule. Let's hope this keeps going. :) This polish seems good and wintery to me. Grey always makes me think of winter. It's a very shimmery charcoal color that makes me think of wet asphalt. I was a little disappointed because in the bottle, there are cool flecks of pink and green shimmer that I just don't see on the nail. I won't complain too much, though. It's still really pretty. The formula was thinner than expected, needing 3 coats, but it applied well and wasn't a pain to clean up like some of these shimmery or flecked polishes can be. You know how sometimes you'll clean up and the shimmer will just stick? Yeah. It didn't do that, thankfully. Overall, thumbs up from me. I'm pleased that my nails are growing out slowly but surely. My final length for the near future will be just slightly longer than this. I liked having the long talons that I once did (see my posts in June for those) but they required a lot of caution and maintenance.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finger Paints - Ripe Peach

Hi everyone! I have a real, honest to goodness swatch for you today. I know it's been quite a while. This lovely color isn't very Christmas-y but it's sort of hard to think of tinsel and trees when it's been 80 degrees every day for the past week or so. Nevertheless, this is a great color for any time. I've always been a bit hesitant to wear peaches and corals because of the orange undertones but this one looks great. It does remind me of the blush on a nice ripe peach and even has some of the silvery appearance of a fuzzy peach thanks to the soft, subtle silver shimmer. The formula was a little fussy and sheer, needing 3 coats and leaving some thin spots here and there, but it wasn't too bad. I apologize for the massive growth gap, I've had this on for about a week. But the lack of tipwear or chips should show you how happy I am with my Color Club Vivid topcoat and Essie Feed Me basecoat! Everything wears like iron.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Apologetic update

Hey everyone! I just wanted to write a quick note and apologize for not updating much. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind and left me with little time to do my nails, much less photograph them. I'll hopefully be back to regular posts soon. In the meantime, why not explore my archive or leave me questions in the comments? I'm willing to answer just about anything related to my nails or me. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Updated Collection and Favorite Products!

So it's been a good long while since I've shown you my polish and talked about my favorite products. I especially want to do the latter since I've been using a new top coat that I'm happy with. You can see my old collection here and my old favorites here.

Here's my storage as of now. I have added two more drawers, bringing the total to 6.

This is how it normally looks. I thought about tidying up but, well.. I want you to see how I keep things! I believe in personality. :)

Top left drawer: Orlys, Finger Paints, Sally Hansens, and all the miscellaneous brands.

Bottom left drawer: Essies, Color Clubs, and Zoyas. You can tell I loooove my Zoya.

Top middle drawer: Tools and other things.

Bottom middle drawer: OPI and China Glaze.

Top right drawer: Sinful Colors. This used to be a full drawer until my recent purge.

Bottom right drawer: Nicole by OPI and Sephora by OPI. Again, used to be full until recent purge.

Here we have my favorites! The buffer block and Hard as Hoof cream are still in there and always will be. Tried and true. I'd like to take the time to introduce you to Color Club Vivid topcoat on the left and Essie Feed Me base coat on the right. Let's start with Feed Me. It's got a thin consistency and applies nicely, drying fairly quickly to a somewhat tacky finish. What I love about it is that it doesn't need as much thinning as the Borghese Hydrati did and it is chock full of oils that have helped with my dry, brittle nails. My polish lasts like iron with this too. Thumbs up. Vivid is a great topcoat that I originally got in my box set of the Electro Candy colors. It's supposed to make your polish look brighter but I don't really notice it. What I do notice is the smooth texture, easy application, glassy finish, and lightning quick dry time. It does need thinning like many other quick dry top coats but the nice thing is that it doesn't take a special thinner like Seche Vite does! You can use regular thinner and do just fine. 

So that's the news for now. I'm pretty happy with my routine now but if anything changes in the future I'll be sure to let you know. :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sally Hansen - The Real Teal

Hello everyone! I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it, or a happy Thursday if you don't. Today's polish isn't very seasonal but it's a fun one. The Real Teal is just what it says, teal! It does lean a little turquoise but it's close enough. My favorite part of it is the cool green shimmer that runs through it and lights it up. I don't own very many Sally Hansens simply because the color selection isn't that exciting but there are some neat ones like this. The Xtreme Wear formula is a great one, requiring only 2 coats and having no problems at all. This is a nice, fresh, fun way to bring a little bit of summer to your nails as it gets colder outside. :)

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

China Glaze - Midnight Kiss

Hi everyone! Sorry I'm late. It's been a busy but good week. This polish gave me enough sparkle to help me through. :) Midnight Kiss is a really fun, simple color, a good solid champagne gold foil. I don't think it's terribly unique but it's a really nice color anyways. This was 2 nice, smooth coats. Foils are one of my favorite finishes but they can be unforgiving if you have ridged nails. I always buff mine a little once a week or so to keep my ridges down, but if you don't want to buff you can also wear a ridgefiller. This is from last year's holiday collection, just like Peace on Earth. I think holiday collections are my favorite since they usually have a lot of green and gold and I love both those colors. :) My nails are finally growing back to a point where I'm okay with them. I can't stand seeing my nails shorter than my fingertips so this is juuuust enough to make me happy. I might keep them slightly shorter this time around, but we'll see.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

China Glaze - Emerald Fitzgerald

Hello everyone! Sorry I'm so late with this post. I've been snapping photos of this polish in all different light and can't get it to come through, so I figured I'd give you the best I can. Emerald Fitzgerald is a lush, deep shimmery green. It looks almost black in the bottle but lightens up slightly on the nails. However, it becomes a pain to photograph because under most light it ends up looking blue on camera when it's really more of a dark foresty color. Sigh. I did the best I could here. This is in partial sunlight coming through my window. The formula is great, like most China Glazes. 2 quick coats and I was done. Hooray! It did stain a little when I did cleanup though, but I can understand that since it's dark and well-pigmented.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nicole by OPI - Midnight Snowfall

Hello there! Today's polish is a bit of a chameleon. Midnight Snowfall came out in Nicole by OPI's holiday collection last year, along with Fell From The Tree and a lot of other great colors. However, it's a bit hard to pin down! You can see under this bright light, it looks definitely blue. However, in other lighting it looks like a rich, slightly dusty purple. This is a blurple polish if I ever saw one. Kinda cool. The only downside is some formula problems. You can see a few patchy bits here and there and I got a load of tipwear on this after only 2 or 3 days. I used 3 coats. Thanks to TA from Color Me Cagey in the comments on  my last post for suggesting dark colors on nubbins, this looks much better than light yellow!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Nicole by OPI - Yellow It's Me

Hello everyone! I finally have another swatch for you. This is my first post with my new, very short nails. I don't think I picked the best color for short nails.. Yellow It's Me is a really cool color in the bottle, light yellow packed with pink shimmer. It always makes me think of raspberry lemonade or something like that. However, the yellow base is jelly. Yellow + jelly = not the most flattering results. To me, it makes my nails look sickly. I'm also not a fan of jellies since they tend to be sheer, you can see the tiniest bit of VNL here after 3 coats. However, I still think this is a really cool color that would look great layered over a bright, solid yellow to give it some more punch and keep it from looking washed out. The first photo is most color accurate for displaying the base color while the second photo shows the true color of the shimmer. It really is a cool color combination.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

And the winners are..

Hi everyone! I have the giveaway results for you today. I will be contacting them and if I do not receive a reply within 72 hours (3 days) I'll have to re-draw.

Absolutely Alice: TAR
Sapphire in the Snow: Misty

Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who entered and followed me, it really means a lot. I wasn't expecting new followers since I didn't make it a requirement of entry but it makes me happy to see more people here enjoying nails along with me. I'll have another giveaway at 100 followers.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Zoya - Kiki

Hello everyone! First of all, I hope that if you're celebrating Halloween today that you have a fun day. I'm not doing anything for the holiday, unfortunately. But I am bringing you a great swatch today! Zoya Kiki is a very bright pink full of blue shimmer, almost bright enough to be a neon. I felt like wearing something eye catching and this sure fits the bill! The only downside is that it is somewhat sheer, being shown here at 3 coats with some nail visible. However, I do very thin coats so perhaps you other ladies with long nails might have better luck. Overall this is a really nice polish for when you want a pop of pink with a cool twist. :)

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Unfortunately, this is the last you'll see of my long nails for a little while. I had a very severe break earlier in the week on my right hand that went into my nail bed and even after I repaired it, it was fragile enough to require me cutting it and the rest of my nails down to nubbins. I hope you'll stick around with me while I grow them back out.

In happier news, thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway! I'll be posting the winner later in the week. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

My 50 follower giveaway ends TONIGHT!

Just a quick reminder that my giveaway ends tonight at 11:59PM EST! Go enter if you'd like. :) Thanks to all of my new visitors and followers for stopping by! At this rate, it'll be no time at all until my 100 follower giveaway..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sinful Colors - San Francisco

Hello there! This is my green polish for the week to help promote depression awareness. Sinful Colors is a brand that doesn't get enough press, in my opinion. They make a lot of great colors that get overlooked. San Francisco is no exception. It's a bright shimmery true green that I think would be great for the holidays. It looks slightly deeper in the bottle and I can tell you why. SF is unfortunately rather sheer, needing 4 coats to get this level of opacity with slight VNL under bright light. Despite this, it applied well with no dragging or streaking. I rarely have patience for anything over 3 coats but I'm willing to do it for a great color. While SF isn't the most unique shade, I still like it.

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I took this photo indoors under a new fluorescent bulb I bought for my floor lamp that claims to have a similar 'light temperature' to sunlight, meaning it is supposed to show things as if they were in sunlight. What do you think? Is this just as good or better than my normal outdoors swatches? Since winter's coming, I may not always catch the sun in time to get a photo so I'd like to have a backup system.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zoya - Marley

Hello everyone! Today's polish is a story of lessons learned. I first got Marley as part of Zoya's International Women's Day Promotion in March. The promotion was for the entire Intimate collection for $25 with free shipping! I loved all the colors so I bought it. When I first tried Marley, though, I was disappointed. It was thick and streaky and just didn't want to play well. I figured it was due to it being a pastel, shrugged, and sent it off to swap. Then I heard of thinner. After buying a bottle for some old, thick polishes I bought and seeing how it revived them, I realized that I could use it to thin uncooperative polishes like Marley! So I went on the hunt to try and get Marley back. I ended up finding a nice swapper on MakeupAlley that sent me a bottle. I thinned it well and waited. This time around, Marley was MUCH better. It applied smoothly in two coats with no problems. It's a light, dusty lavender color with very subtle silver shimmer that gives it a pearlescent look. I'm very, very happy I was able to learn my lesson about taming difficult polishes and keep Marley in my collection.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

My 50 follower giveaway is here!

Whew! I finally got some time to put together my giveaway. I wanted to show some appreciation for everyone who's been reading and following me. I started blogging, and continue to do so, to share my opinions and offer information so I can hopefully be helpful. I know how frustrating it can be to look for a swatch of a color and not find anything good, so I'm trying to fill that gap.

So! To thank you all for sticking along with me, I'm giving away a big mess of polishes to two people. Here's the group shot:

As you can see, there's a good mix of brands. OPI, Revlon, Milani, Color Club, Sinful Colors, Nicole by OPI.. But wait, what are those two in the front? 

Hmm, these look familiar.. Let's flip them over.

Oh! Oh my! Yes, it's OPI Absolutely Alice and OPI Sapphire in the Snow! Yes, that's right. I have one bottle of each polish to give away, along with 18 other polishes that will be split into two groups of 9 to join each of my lucky winners. AA and SitS are brand new, but some of the other polishes have been swatched. Do not enter if that bothers you.

So let's break this down into lists, because I like lists.

  • One (1) bottle of OPI Absolutely Alice along with 9 polishes of my choice.
  • One (1) bottle of OPI Sapphire in the Snow along with 9 polishes of my choice.
  • Must be 18 or over to enter.
  • Must live in the United States of America (sorry!)
  • One entry per person. 
  • Entries will be accepted from 12am EST October 21st, 2011 until 11:59pm EST October 28th, 2011.
  • Winners will be drawn using after the entry period closes and will be announced on or before November 4th, 2011.
  • Prizes will be shipped using USPS. I am not responsible for lost, broken, or otherwise missing or damaged polishes.
  • By entering, you give me permission to publish your first name, nickname, or screenname that you used to enter the contest when I announce the winner.
  • Winners will have 72 hours to respond to my email notifying them of winning. If they do not respond in this time period, I will choose another winner for their prize.
  • Fill out the form below with your name, email, and preferred prize. I will only accept entries through the form, comments on this post don't count as entries.
I think that's about it! Good luck to everyone who enters and again, thank you for reading. It really means a lot to me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zoya - Edyta

Hello everyone! As I mentioned earlier in the month, I'm trying to post one green polish a week to promote depression awareness in the month of October. I have Zoya Edyta for you today, a great smoky green that's perfect for fall. The photo I have here is unfortunately not the best but it's been terribly cloudy here lately. I may get an Ott-Lite for indoor swatching soon. Edyta is a deep forest green that's full of greenish-gold shimmer. It makes me think of big, lush, old forests. I know this was really popular last year when it was released and I can see why! It went on very smoothly in just two coats. Zoya continues to be one of my favorite brands for putting out great colors like this.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Clarisonic Plus Saved My Skin!

Hi everyone! This is a non-swatch post, so if you're not interested, it won't hurt my feelings if you skip it. It is beauty related though. I know this is primarily a nail polish blog but I do dabble in skincare and cosmetics in general as well so I may post reviews of things I really, really like from time to time.

I've wanted a Clarisonic for a long time. A really, really long time. At least two years or so. It seemed like such a cool, efficient way to clean the skin. The only downside is that they're so expensive, so.. I didn't get one. In early September I logged onto MakeupAlley and sighed as I saw people fawning over an awesome QVC deal for a Clarisonic Plus along with 3 full-size Bliss products. What a steal! So fantastic! Still couldn't afford it. However, at the same time I was pining for my Clarisonic, my very kind and generous mom saw the same deal on the TV and thought of how I had wanted one, and how her own skin could use some help.. So she ordered two. I was absolutely over the moon when she told me she'd gotten me one! I couldn't wait for it to arrive. Since then, I've been using it twice a day with my normal cleansing routine and I feel like I can review it well after a month of use.

Here's a picture of the Clarisonic Plus itself. It only has two buttons. The large power button is used to turn it on and off, to pause it, and to change cleaning time duration. The small button with arrows on it is for changing the speed of the brush head. Mine came with the deep pore cleansing brush (shown), the sensitive face brush, and the body brush. Yes, you can use this all over! It's fully waterproof so you can take it in the shower and use it to exfoliate those rough parts like elbows and knees. It has its own charging cradle as well; the cool thing is that it seems to work off of inductive charging, meaning that the electricity is sent from the cradle to the handle with no plugs, cables, or connectors between the two. Very cool. It uses sonic technology to clean your skin, so it's not just a plain brush scrubbing at your face.

So, why did I want a Clarisonic so bad? Normal washing, no matter what I used, was never enough to fully calm my skin. I tend to get bad hormonal acne and my nose is full of blackheads. I also have large pores and I knew washcloths and cleanser alone couldn't be enough to get everything out. I'd heard lots of positive stories from others with acne-prone skin who used the Clarisonic so I was terribly excited to try it. 

Did it work? Yes! It has very noticeably reduced the congestion in my nose's pores, made my skin super soft, and controlled my acne pretty well. For something that I use for a total of two minutes a day, once in the morning and once at night, that's a pretty good outcome. My skincare routine is currently as follows: in the morning, I wash with the Clarisonic Plus and Philosophy Purity Made Simple, then apply Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 moisturizer. At night, I wash with the Clarisonic Plus and Philosophy Purity Made Simple again and apply REN Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream. I've been using the Philosophy, Aveeno, and REN products since the beginning of the year but it was the addition of the Clarisonic that finally made me happy with my skin.

In summary, I'm extremely happy with my Clarisonic Plus. It has helped me conquer my skin problems and I'd strongly recommend it to anyone looking to amp up their skincare routine.

 If you want to buy one, you can get it by itself or packaged with skincare goodies like this bundle from Sephora:;jsessionid=AEFPYNMTONMKICV0KSGBPIQ?id=P294408&categoryId=B70 It's definitely not cheap but I consider it a good investment if you want to try and get your skin in better shape. If you plan on buying one soon, wait for the Sephora Friends & Family sale. It runs from 10/20-11/2 and you can get 20% off online. You will need to sign up for their Beauty Insider program but that's a free membership. There is also a smaller, one speed version called the Mia that is cheaper if you want to try out a Clarisonic for less:;jsessionid=SMLDSIOPAY41QCV0KSIAIGQ?id=P245414&categoryId=RPYMAL&navAction=jump However, my review applies only to the Plus. I can't tell you anything about the Mia from experience.  I'm writing this review for the reason I swatch and post about polish: to give you my honest opinion. That's why I waited a month to see how my skin reacted. I hope that by posting this, I can help someone out.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sally Hansen - Model Behavior

Hi there! Today's polish is a super fun, cheery color. Model Behavior is a polish that came out in the Spring with the Prabal Gurung limited edition collection. I don't own a lot of these Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes simply because the core colors aren't terribly exciting. The limited edition collections tend to have much better colors. This is a deep sky blue that looks so fun and bright on the nails. If I were any good at nail art I'd definitely paint some puffy white clouds and a big bright sun on here. It's a simple color, since it's a creme, but it's still pretty unique to me and definitely worth having. The formula is fairly even but slightly thin, I needed 3 coats to get full coverage.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Color Club - Ms. Socialite

Hi everyone! Today's post was brought to you in part by Paillette, who recently had a giveaway. I won one of the prizes, the Color Club Rebel Debutante set! This polish is from that set. Ms. Socialite is a reddish-purple creme. I wasn't sure how I would like it since I usually like blue-based purples but I'm trying to push myself out of my normal range of colors and try new things. It applied really smoothly and covered pretty well in 2 coats, though I probably could have used a third to fully even things out. It's definitely a rich fall-type color and it's grown on me.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Orly - Meet Me Under The Mistletoe

Hello! As I mentioned the other day, I'll be trying to post one green per week to promote depression awareness. This week's green is actually from a Christmas collection but hey, it's a nice color all year round. Meet Me Under The Mistletoe is an emerald green filled with pretty light green sparkle flecks. It's definitely a cool color since it has a blue base but I think it would look good on anyone. It does tend to be a little thin, needing 3 coats, but it applies well and dries quickly. I don't have many Orly polishes but the ones I do have are nice. I wish the brushes were wider but, well, I wish most brushes were wider! Anyways, this is a great polish and I believe it's now part of the core collection so you should be able to buy this anywhere you find Orly polishes being sold.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

On awareness

This is a swatch-free post, so if that bores you, go ahead and skip it. If you're still with me, hi! I'd like to take a minute to talk about October. Everyone knows it's breast cancer awareness month, right? There's a deluge of pink products that come out this time of year and I'd just like to take a second to talk about them and the cause as a whole. I think the idea of products that contribute to funds supporting care for those with breast cancer or research for cures is great.. HOWEVER. A lot of companies only donate a small amount of the purchase price, and that kinda rubs me the wrong way. The idea seems to be 'let's make this thing in pink/slap some pink ribbons on the box, tell people we'll donate money, and watch the cash roll in!'. My advice is to do your research and see just how much is going to be donated and, even more importantly, where it's going. If you really want to support breast cancer related causes, you'd be better off researching reputable organizations and just donating directly. You can even find cancer treatment centers near you and see if they need donations of any items. Temptalia has a great post covering beauty brands that are making significant donations as well as charities you can check out, so please go have a look.

Now that we've covered donations, let's talk about breast cancer itself. If you're reading this and are thinking 'Meh, I'm too young to worry about that', you're wroooong! While it's rare, it can definitely happen in your 20s and 30s. It's super important for you to check yourself on a regular basis just to know what your normal breast tissue feels like so that if anything changes, you can be aware. Thanks to my regular self-checks and awareness of my normal tissue, I was able to catch a benign growth early and have it removed in early September. Even benign growths can be harmful; they can grow large enough to disfigure the breast or take over healthy mammary glands. So please, check yourself and stay healthy. We don't have cyborg bodies available yet so you've got to take care of the one you have right now.

Finally, I'm going to switch gears and discuss another condition that, unlike breast cancer, doesn't get a lot of recognition. October is also depression awareness month. Depression is a very, very tough condition and one that can vary widely in its presentation. You may have a friend with depression and not even know it. The best thing you can do is to simply listen and care. It can mean the world to get a friendly text or call from someone. And if you're starting to feel like you've got more than just the blues, please don't hesitate to reach out. If you're a student, your campus will likely have a mental health or students of concern center that can help you deal with what's going on. A lot of people have the idea that it's something you can just shake off yourself, but it's not true. Reaching out to a therapist or other mental health professional is the key to managing successfully, just like with any other medical condition. You wouldn't sit at home with pneumonia and try to psych yourself out of it, would you? Depression awareness is signified by the color green so I'm going to try and post at least one green polish per week for the rest of the month.

Thanks for reading all this. I know this is 'just a nail polish blog' but there's a real person who writes it, one with feelings and concerns and who wants people to be healthy, happy, and loved.

P.S. Don't forget to get your flu shot! CVS is doing them for $30 if you don't have insurance, and most insurance plans will cover it for free. It'll keep you from getting sick and making people you know sick, which is especially important if you're around little kids or the elderly a lot as the flu can be fatal for them. If you're afraid of needles, there's a nasal spray version available too, so no excuses!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Zoya - Zara

Hi everyone! I'm trying to get back on a twice a week update schedule so here's hoping. Today's polish is one of my new favorites! Zara is a milky purple full of gorgeous golden shimmer that just glows in the light. It's a really cool combination and I fell in love with it right away. I haven't counted but I think I have more Zoyas than any other brand, simply because they make a great variety of shades and always seem to be having some sort of sale or promotion. The formula on this was good, slightly thinner than I expected. It needed 3 coats but went on really smoothly.

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And just so you all know, I haven't forgotten about the giveaway! I'm currently at 51 followers so it will be going up soon. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Orly - It's Not Rocket Science

Hello everyone! Today's polish is another selection from last year's  Cosmic FX collection by Orly. I've showed you one of its polishes before, Galaxy Girl. It's Not Rocket Science gets lots of points for being green, sparkly, and having a funny name. :) It's a unique green in my collection because the base color is a sort of swampy yellow-brown green but it's full of green (and possibly gold?) shimmer that sparkles like crazy. I've heard some people describe it as ugly-pretty and I guess I would agree. I've also heard that it's similar to China Glaze Zombie Zest but I don't own it to make the comparison, so have a look around on other sites if you're curious. If I recall correctly, this was two coats and applied smoothly. I was happy it only took two coats because some of these flecked/shimmery polishes can be pretty sheer and I don't always have the patience for that.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nicole by OPI - No Limits (Matte)

Hi everyone! Sorry for the long absence. It's been a hectic week and I haven't had a lot of time for my nails. Matte polishes like this are great for when you need to put something on in a hurry, so this is a great fit for me! Nicole by OPI came out with matte versions of some of their existing colors last year, I picked these up at Walmart. They were one of many companies jumping on the matte bandwagon. I don't know if you can still find these anywhere online, but it's worth a look. No Limits is a deep, inky navy blue full of silver shimmer. The shimmer in these mattes keeps them from looking completely flat and boring, a complaint I've heard from a lot of people about matte polish. The formula is intensely pigmented! If you're careful, you can have this completely opaque in one coat. I was slapping this on haphazardly in 5 minutes so I needed a second coat to cover up some bald spots I made. It dries lightning fast, another great thing about mattes. I was able to put this on and be working with my hands not even 5 minutes later. Mattes will eventually turn sort of satin-y as you wear them due to water and oil. I know some people use a matte topcoat to extend the life of the finish but I just let it be on its own. What do you think of matte polishes? I know they were all the rage last year and, like this year's crackle, they have their fans and detractors. I personally give them a thumbs up.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sinful Colors - Merlot

Hey everyone! I've got a great Fall swatch for you today. Sinful Colors' Merlot is, as its name would suggest, a deep lush red reminiscent of wine. Though I don't wear reds often, this is my favorite type: deep, slightly smoky, eye-catching without being bright. Merlot reminds me somewhat of another great red, Zoya Blair. These reds just scream Fall to me. Sinful Colors polishes can definitely be all over the board when it comes to pigmentation and formula, but I think every brand runs into that. Merlot was mostly opaque in two coats but I did a third to give it more depth. It was very smooth although slightly runny, so be prepared to spend some time doing cleanup. One of the things I like about this polish is that it reminds me of something my grandmother would wear. Her nails are the first I can remember being fascinated with. For the longest time she wore glue-on nails but now she goes to the salon for acrylics. I personally prefer natural nails but I always smile when I see the deep reds like this that she loves so much.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Essie - Pretty Edgy

I'm back! How's everyone doing? Miss me? :) My swatch for today is a super-fun color and definitely one of my favorites. Pretty Edgy is green, green, green! It does pull ever so slightly blue on me but that may be my coloring. I think after putting on PE I've made my peace with the Essie jelly-creme formula. Sometimes it can be frustrating due to streaks, but on the whole it's smooth and is definitely the shiniest polish formula I've seen. My nails look like they're dipped in green glass. This covered nicely in 3 coats. I know it might seem a little out of place to have such a summery green in September but Summer doesn't end around here until late October, at least! Even then, I wear what I want to wear regardless of season. :)

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quick update

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that it may be a few days before I post another swatch. I just had some minor surgery and am recuperating. Hopefully I will have something to post soon. I know I update infrequently enough as it is, sorry! Thanks again to everyone who reads. I'm only 3 followers short of doing my first giveaway so if you're not already following me through Google Friend Connect, please consider doing so. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zoya - Penny

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I wasn't on time with this update, Florida's weather is still finicky. I may get an Ott-Lite if this keeps up. I apologize in advance if these pictures aren't the best, I took them in fluorescent light and had to adjust them quite a bit. I just wanted to give you an idea of it. Honestly, the best swatch you could see of Penny is, well, a nice new copper penny! It really does look like your nails are covered in shiny copper, it's a great effect. Since it's metallic, it does have some brushstrokes, but it's nothing terrible. It covered evenly in two coats. I got this from Zoya's recent buy one get two free promo. The other colors I got were Shay and Zara, so expect to see those up in the near future.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Zoya - Rica

Hi everyone! After the quick foray into Fall from my last post, I'm bringing it back to Summer today. It's still plenty hot and bright here in the Sunshine State, after all. :) Rica is from the recent Sunshine collection to which Faye also belongs. Both are great, sparkly shades for whenever you need a little sparkle in your life. Rica really screams Summer to me, though. It has a juicy coral pink base full of golden shimmer that is almost blinding in the sunlight. Zoya always does an amazing job with these glass-fleck type finishes. It does take 3 coats to become opaque but it's for the best, thin coats mean the sparkle comes out better in my experience. I'm trying to swap for the rest of the Sunshine collection, I want them all!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chanel - Paradoxal

Hi everyone! Sorry I'm late again. The first week of school has been busy but fun. I figured I'd pick out a nice color, something reserved but still interesting. I got Chanel Paradoxal last year when it released and I think I've only worn it once before. I don't buy many Chanel polishes, mostly because none of the colors jump out at me too much. I did recently get Peridot and plan on wearing it soon, so keep an eye out for it. Paradoxal is a deep smoky purple-grey with purple shimmer that only emerges in the sunlight. If you took Zoya Kelly, replaced the blue tone with purple and added shimmer, you'd have Paradoxal. It's a really cool, chic Fall color. My FAVORITE part of this polish is the formula. It went on so smoothly, it was almost like the brush was moving itself. I did need three coats but most people would probably be fine with two, I'm just extremely picky about thin spots even if I'm the only one who can see them. I will say though that it does seem to be somewhat chippy, I got little nicks on both my thumbnails but it's nothing terrible by any means. This is long gone from counters but Barry M, a European brand, makes a good dupe called Dusky Mauve that's supposed to be a perfect copy. Much cheaper, too!

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

China Glaze - Peace on Earth

Hello everyone! It's the time of year when summer starts winding down and everyone heads back to 'real life'. I'm about to begin my next year of school so I thought I'd pick a polish that somewhat represents my school's colors, green and gold. China Glaze's Peace on Earth is a Christmas color from last year that I got in a MUA swap. It's a really pretty olive color full of gold shimmer that runs through it like little rivers. It is somewhat similar to Nina Ultra Pro's Mossy Britches but MB is a little darker and dustier. PoE applied really smoothly in two coats and has held up well through all the packing and moving that comes with heading back to school. The tipwear you see here is after about 5 days of wear including lots of packing and lifting and hauling, so it looks great!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Color Club - Electro Candy

Hi there! Here's a little something to brighten your day, literally. I picked up Color Club's Electro Candy collection from Ross a long time ago but have only swatched one of the colors before this, Tangerine Scream. I felt like putting on something bright so I chose the pink of the collection, Electro Candy! All of the colors in this collection have a really pretty blue flash to them (except for TS, which flashes white) and it looks really cool against the neon pink of EC. It's certainly an attention-getting shade! I was pretty pleased with the application, it was very smooth and not streaky in the slightest. However, being a neon, it was fairly sheer and needed 4 coats to reach opacity. You can't see any nail line in the pictures but I can see a little bit in person at certain angles. My only complaint with this is that it seemed to take much longer than normal to dry! I always use a quick drying topcoat; in fact, the one I'm currently using is what came with this collection, the Vivid topcoat. My nails are usually fully, completely dry after 30-45 minutes but even after an hour I managed to get some dents and smudges with this polish. It only happened on 2 or 3 of my nails though, but it was still surprising to me. Overall I really like this color and think it's a great, fun shade for summer. :)

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Orly - Galaxy Girl

Hello there! Today's post is a really unique shade, I think. Galaxy Girl came out in last year's Cosmic FX collection and while the most talked about shade of that was Space Cadet (which is beautiful), I think GG was the most interesting. The base is a sort of brownish red purple and it's full of duochrome sparkle that shifts from teal to dark pink. It might sound sort of gross but it reminds me of a very pretty bruise. Definitely unusual. The teal sparkle is the most obvious, the dark pink seems to come out more in the shade for me. I hope you can see it alright in the indoors picture below. The formula was good, very even and smooth and I got full opacity at 3 coats. I should really get more polishes from Orly, everything I've tried has been great! I'm looking forward to the upcoming Mineral FX collection. And I can't bring up Orly now without mentioning Fowl Play from their current Fall release. It's a pretty close duplicate of OPI  Merry Midnight, a rather coveted color. I know that some people won't be satisfied unless they have the original but I'm glad there's an easier option out now for those who don't care too much. :)

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