Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mi Amor Polish: Let it Snow and Sleigh Ride

Hi everyone, happy New Year's Eve.  What are your plans for this evening?  The past few years the hubby and I have been going to our friends parent's house and hanging out with such a fun group of people.  We play board games until midnight and it's a good way to pass the time.  I've done a ton of thinking over the past few days and my conclusion is that I need to make 2014 a much better year then 2013.  I won't go into it but 2013 was rough for me and I want to make things so much better in the new year.

Today I have a new to me Indie brand called Mi Amor Polish.  I won these polishes in a giveaway and I am super impressed with both of them.  

First up I have Let It Snow.  Let It Snow is a glitter topper filled with turquoise, white, and iridescent glitters in different shapes and sizes.  I thought this polish was absolutely gorgeous.  I especially loved the blue diamond shaped glitters, they were just so funky and something I haven't seen before.

For Let It Snow, I layered one coat over OPI Visions of Love.  Swatches are without topcoat.  I didn't have any problems with formula on this polish and I didn't have to dig for any of the glitters.

The second polish I have is Sleigh Ride which is a glitter topper with a mix of red, green, white, and black glitters.  I really liked this topper because of the addition of the white and black.  I thought that made it more interesting than just a traditional red and green topper.

For this swatch, I paired Sleigh Ride with Zoya Jacqueline, a creamy nude.  This is similar to the look I wore on Christmas.  To me it looked like a sugar cookie with Christmas sprinkles :)  I used one coat with no topcoat.  There were no formula problems here and no glitter digging.

Overall I was really impressed with my first experience with Mi Amor Polish.  I really liked both glitters, especially Let It Snow.  You can find Mi Amor Polish on Etsy here.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Favorites! (Mainstream, Indies, and Nail Art)-HUGE Post Alert!

Hi everyone, welcome to a new week.  Thankfully I'm still off work until Thursday so I'm still lazing about the house.  Normally I would feel bad about this but they worked me so hard this year at work that I thought I deserved a nice long break :)  Since this is my first year blogging, I've recently seen so many end of the year favorites posts and I couldn't help but throw in my two cents haha! 

I ended up having so many favorites that I just decided to do my top 5 of everything all in one giant post.  I'll show you my favorite mainstreams, indies, and nail art of the year.  I'll keep the words short and get right down to business :)

Top 5 Mainstream Polishes

When I first starting blogging, mainstream polishes were the only polishes I knew that existed.  I owned a handful of OPI polishes, some drugstore polishes, but that's about it.  That has definitely changed over the course of this year!

Number 5-OPI Alcatraz Rocks

While I'm still on the fence with textures, this polish really stole my heart.  It was so hard to pick a favorite textured polish because I think Zoya rocked it this year (Destiny, Chita, Carter), but there was something about this sparkly blue that trumped them all.

Number 4-Zoya Blu

Zoya Blu was my very first Zoya polish and it introduced me to Zoya's fantastic formula.  I love a stunning cream polish and Zoya Blu is just that. 

Number 3-China Glaze Too Yacht to Handle

This polish, for me, was neon aqua perfection.  Every time I wore this color is just made me happy and I ended up staring at my nails. 

Number 2-Julep Cleopatra

This polish was the dark horse for me.  Julep has had its ups and downs for me since I started my subscription at the beginning of the year.  I ended up skipping a bunch of months but this polish just killed it for me.  I had never seen a polish with a rubber finish and with this being black, I'm gonna be honest and say that I just feel like a badass when I wear it ;)

Number 1-OPI My Vampire is Buff

Never would I have thought a plain cream nude polish could end up being my absolute favorite polish of the year.  I have loved this polish since first brush stroke and have worn it so many times this year.  It's the perfect light base color, is great in nail art, and just has such a perfect tone to it.  It makes no sense and yet I find myself slightly panicked because I don't have a back-up bottle (...or two).

Top 5 Indie Polishes

At the beginning of the year, I had no idea what an indie was or that people made and sold their own polishes.  I have been very fortunate and have had the pleasure of reviewing some fantastic Indie brands.  To sum it up for me, Indies are cool, funky, and unique and they definitely deserve their time in the spotlight.

Number 5-Shimmer Polish Jasmine

Shimmer Polish was one of the first Indies I bought on my own and I have never been disappointed.  The glitter combinations are spot on and the formulas are always perfection.

Number 4-Paint Shop Polish Cupid

I just reviewed this polish and it stole the show.  It is like liquid Opal in the bottle and it's just so pretty.  I've never seen anything even close to it.  I can't wait to wear it as a full mani and just stare at it.  I think it would look cool over pretty much anything.

Number 3-Candy Lacquer Licorice Allsorts

I have a weird love of desserts, let's just start with that.  I can't eat them with my food allergies anymore, but it doesn't stop me from still loving home decorations, etc.  My Christmas tree and holiday decorations were cupcake themed this year.  Yes, I had enough cupcake ornaments to fill an entire full-sized tree.  This is where my obsession with Candy Lacquer comes in.  I just have this thing where I love and want to buy every Candy Lacquer I see (good thing I have some sort of willpower)!  Licorice Allsorts is just a perfect representation in a bottle and this was the first and so far, the only Indie that I stalked waiting for a restock :)

Number 2-Northern Star Phantasmagoric

This polish....just look at how pretty it is.  

Number 1-Daphine Polish Rosina Violet

This was another recent Indie brand that I reviewed for and I was blown away by all three polishes that I swatched.  This polish really stood out though.  I think this polish could pretty much look good over any dark polish, pink, purple, nude polish....you get the picture.  I've only tried it over dark blue, but this was my result...

Top 5 Nail Art Looks  

Last up are my favorite nail art looks of the year.  I feel a little weird posting these because it feels a little narcissistic, but I'll admit that I'm proud of how far I've come.  Below is one of my worst nail art....and this was only back in May!  I think I've come a long way.

Horrible Sunflowers from May-

I still got lovely comments on these nails.  I was a beginner, I used a bobby pin because it was the only "tool" I had, and the support that came from the nail community was amazing.  We all have to start somewhere.

Now for my 5 favorite designs.  I won't really say anything about these, I'll just link the post in case you want more info.

Number 5-Cookie Monster Mani

These nails were simple but I loved them.  I was so proud I did both hands until I went to leave for work one morning and realized it was my yearly evaluation at work.  I didn't figure they were appropriate so I had to remove them :(

Number 4-Mint and Coral Floral

Number 3-Shark Week Nails

Number 2-Abstract Mani 

Number 1-Passionfruit Ruffian

Well, there you have it.  If you made it through the entire post, congratulations, that was a long one!  I feel very blessed to have discovered blogging this year and it has gotten me through a tough year.  I have experienced nothing but kindness from the people I've met and I can't express how grateful I am for that.  Thank you for a great year and I look forward to seeing what 2014 has to offer!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ciate Mini Mani Month Calendar: Polishes 1-6

Hi everyone, welcome to Sunday.  I hope your weekend is going well.  Yesterday I had a nice day of relaxing and that felt really good.  I watched a bunch of Supernatural and got some swatching done.  It was pretty nice :)

Today I have my very first Ciate polishes which come from the Mini Mani Month calendar.  I received this as a Christmas present from my parents and I have to say that I'm really impressed so far.  I've never tried Ciate polishes and I am pleasantly surprised.  Since there are 24 polishes in the calendar, I decided to break them up into 4 posts.  Today I have polishes 1-6. 

Snow Globe-

Snow Globe has iridescent flakes in a clear base.  I used one coat over OPI Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs.  All swatches are without topcoat.  I wish that the flakes had been slightly smaller so that they covered the nail more. 


Boudoir is a vibrant cherry red cream.  The formula was good and I used two coats without topcoat below.


Hopscotch is a deep tangerine orange cream.  This polish is so vibrant and I really liked it.  I used two coats without topcoat.


Encore! is a mix between a strawberry and a terra cotta red.  The formula was thick on this polish but not unmanageable.  This polish was a 1 coater!

Miss Mistletoe Sequins-

Number 5 was a bottle of loose glitter.  Miss Mistletoe consisted of gold and pink glitter.  This was my first experience with loose glitter but it was easier to use than I thought it would be.  I started with a base of Encore! and put a layer of topcoat over it.  While the topcoat was wet, I sprinkled the loose glitter and finished with another layer of topcoat.

Sugar Plum-

Sugar Plum is a cool-toned pale lilac cream.  This polish goes on pretty sheer, but it builds up beautifully in three coats.  I thought the finished color was so pretty.  Three coats without topcoat below.

Overall I am really happy with these polishes so far.  I think there are some really pretty colors that I haven't seen before and I can't wait to swatch the rest :)  Which ones of these is your favorite?  Do you own any Ciate polishes?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Years with Incoco (3 designs)

*Press Samples
Hi everyone, welcome to Saturday!  I hope your weekend is going well.  I am recovering from a bad bout of food poisoning from yesterday (accidentally eating moldy brownies)!  To be fair, the package said they were good until January.  I did manage to go out to spend some of my Christmas money this morning and found some awesome deals on the Mariah Carey OPI collection at Ulta.  

Today I have the second half of the Incoco strips that I received for review.  I thought these three designs would be really good for New Years.  I think if there's any time of the year for glitter, it would be New Years :)  All three designs are from the current Merry & Bright Winter Collection.

First up is Giftwrapped, which is a red and black plaid design.  I saved this one for the more traditional nail design route.  I still find it acceptable to wear winter and Christmas designs through New Years and this one is just so cute.

These strips applied just fine.  I've never had any trouble applying Incoco strips and the three in this post were no exception.  The only negative thing I have to say about this design was that they were slighly sheer and did show a bit of visible nail line in real life (not so much in the pictures though).  

Next up...my two favorites from this collection combined into one glittery mani :)  The two designs below are called After Party (chunky blue glitter on a black background) and Galactic Glitz (pink, purple, green, and gold glitter on a black background).  I really liked both of these and loved how the black base made the glitter really pop!

I think the glitter strips applied more easily than some of the sheerer strips, like the red, because they are slightly thicker.  I didn't have any problem with removal either, they are much easier to remove than regular glitter polish.

Overall I continue to be very impressed with the designs Incoco comes out with.  I especially loved the glitter from this collection.  Incoco strips can be found here.

*Products in this post were received for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Last Holiday Mani: Decal Ruffian

*Press Sample
Hi everyone.  If you celebrate Christmas I hope you had a good holiday.  It's been a whirlwind for me between traveling to Iowa for graduation and traveling up to Chicago for Christmas.   It's nice to be back at home and relax a bit.  Today I have my last holiday look of the year.  I'm a little sad to see the holiday nail art go, but I am happy that we will be moving into a new year.  Admittedly this year was pretty hard for me.  I had a horribly stressful year at work and that was paired with loads of doctors visits and health problems.  I am looking forward to setting some personal goals and having a better year.

Today I have some decals that were sent for review from Born Pretty Store.  These decals included some holiday images like Santas and snowmen but also included decals like snowflakes and hearts.  To create this look, I started with a ruffian design with OPI Pompeii Purple and Essie Licorice.  I was surprised to find that these decals were actually stickers and they were so easy to apply.

To apply, you just peel them off the sheet like a regular sticker and place on the nail.  Easy peasy!  I applied a layer of topcoat to finish and I have to say that these stuck on really well. 

I was really impressed with these nail stickers and thought they were so cute.  They really are the ultimate easy nail art.  These decals are item no. 10483 and can be found here.  You can also receive an additional 10% off with my coupon code below.

Born Pretty Store link
*Items in this post were sent for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Purple Dotted Christmas Trees

Hi everyone, welcome to Monday.  I hope everyone is having a good week.  I am officially on vacation and can't wait for Christmas.  Today I have one of the last Christmas posts for this season, there may or may not be an extra tomorrow :)  

Today I have some non-traditional Christmas nails that I did last week.  For this look, I started with a base of Zoya Seraphina, an icy silver.  To make it extra blingy, I did a quick layer of OPI Pirouette My Whistle.  

For the trees, I dotted with OPI Honk if you Love OPI (darker purple) and Revlon Chromes Tanzanite (lighter purple).  I finished off the trees with stars in OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

I really liked how these trees came out and they were so simple to do!  For those traveling today, safe travels and enjoy your holidays!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Goofy Reindeer Studded Nails

*Press Sample
Hi everyone, welcome to Sunday.  I've been in Iowa all weekend for my sister's college graduation and just got back a few minutes ago.  I still have a few Christmas posts to get up this week and today is one of them.  Today I have a review of some really fun and goofy nail art studs.  These studs were kindly sent to me for review from Born Pretty Store, which is where I get all of my nail art supplies, especially for the holidays.

Today I have some cute yellow and black metal studs in the shape of reindeer.  To get this look, I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, my favorite white polish.  On the nails without the studs, I used my Born Pretty dotting tools and did dots in black with Essie Licorice and gold with OPI Goldeneye.  For the nails with the studs, I did a simple reverse glitter gradient with OPI Goldeneye and stuck the nail charms on after I applied topcoat.

I really liked these studs and thought they were really cute.  They come in a pack of 5 and are item #10407.  They can be found here.  Don't forget to use my coupon code below for an additional 10% off!

Born Pretty Store Link
*Products in this post received in exchange for my honest opinion.