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. :)

Click to enlarge.

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.

Click to enlarge.

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.

Click to enlarge.

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.

Click to enlarge.

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.

Click to enlarge.

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!

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