Review: Zoya Dove

This isn't even going to be a full review.  I received this color as part of a 2-part set that came free with any polish purchase back in the summer.  At the time, I got blinded by the notion of free polish for free polish's sake; even then I didn't like gray.  And after a brief trial run just to be sure, I'm now positive:  gray polish is not my style.  I wore this for about 2 days before I wanted it gone.

This color does have a slight blue undertone, but it's still too gray for me.  Maybe if it had some more blue, or purple, I'd be into it.  However, it does work well when paired with its Fashion Week mate, Zoya Caitlin:

As you can see, I haven't quite gotten the hang of doing the half-moon mani freehand.  But the colors do go together quite nicely.  However, that's not quite enough to convince me to keep this polish, so I actually traded it with a friend, for Zoya Izzy from her November Birchbox.  Look for that review coming up next!


December Birchbox

Looks like I got my November Birchbox review up just in time, because my December box arrived this morning!  Good timing, too - I'm about to go home for Christmas in a few days, I'm so glad it came before I left!


November Birchbox: Final Review

This month has been so hectic, I scarcely noticed it was over before I was getting an e-mail about my December box being shipped!  Where does the time go??


Review: Sinful Colors Sharons Heart

I've had this polish since college - I bought it along with the color Silly Alix in the same brand, which is similar but lighter.  After trying both briefly, I had come to the conclusion over the years that Sharons Heart (as printed on the label, no apostrophe) was the ugly stepsister to my beloved Silly Alix.  And while Silly Alix is indeed still my favorite of the two, I've gained a new appreciation for Sharons Heart.


Review: Zoya Noel

A very pretty blue - I like this color a lot!  Too bad it didn't last very long on my nails.



November Birchbox

(I don't know why this didn't go up two weeks ago when I posted it, but better late than never, I suppose.)

November Birchbox is here, and just as wonderful as I was hoping for!  I saw someone on a blog get this exact box and was hoping for the same one; turns out that's what I got!  And I unlocked the Bauble Bar bracelet for earning BirchBox points back in September/October!  So happy.

This month's theme is "Getting Gifty"; gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season.


Pink and Black

I've wanted to do this mani for ages now!!  I know crackle is supposedly passe; hell black and pink is passe.  Don't care!  Love it!  Half the nails are black with pink crackle (Skin Food & Pure Ice), half pink with black crackle (Skin Food & Claire's).  And yes, I know my pinky got messed up, but it wasn't worth re-doing since I only got to wear it for 2 days.  Totally worth it, however!

Next up: This week's work-safe mani, Sinful Colors Sharons Heart.


October Birchbox: Final Review

November Birchoxes are on their way (AND I THINK THERE'S NAIL POLISH IN IT!!), so it's time to review last month's products.  This was an excellent box.


Review: Essie Fiji

Loving this color!  Have to say though, it now feels odd not to hide my pinky at work!


Essie Fiji review will be up most likely tomorrow, but in the meantime I had to share this gorgeous necklace I just bought!!  I've seen it and considered buying it several times, but tonight with the combination of my holiday discount and a gift card given to me by a generous friend, it was free!  Sparkly, long chain, and neutral color that will go with basically everything.  I don't wear a lot of jewelery, but I can't wait to don this stunner!


Happy Belated Halloween!

Colors used: OPI Alpine Snow, Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear Sun Kissed and Mellow Yellow

Promised you a treat, didn't I? :)

I've received so many compliments in the 2 days I've been wearing these, from men and women alike.  And the best part is that they're so simple!  I painted the entire nail white, then covered the bottom half with yellow, just eyeballing it.  After giving that ample time to dry, I taped off the top and bottom portion of my nails with scotch tape and added the orange stripe across the middle.  And voila!  They're not razor-edge perfect if you inspect them close-up, but I'm okay with that; not many people are going to be inspecting my nails close-up besides myself anyway.

Hope you all had a fantastic Halloween, however you chose to celebrate it.  Tomorrow it's back to the grind, but this mani has been worth it for the mere 48 hours I was able to wear it.

Coming up next: Essie Fiji


Review: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure First Kiss

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been drooling over this color for quite some time.  At the end of the day it wasn't exactly what I had hoped for, but I'm still glad I made the purchase for the wear time alone.  For reference, I usually take pictures on the 3rd day or so of my mani, and by then I'm having to twist my fingers into awkward positions to hide the chips.  I'm okay with this, though - I usually buy cheaper brands of polish, and I'm not very careful with my nails.  These pictures were taken on the 5th day, and even after an afternoon of scraping my nails against concrete doing chalk art with kids at work, I still only had 2 small chips and some minor tip wear.  I think if I had added an additional layer of topcoat halfway through wearing the mani I would have fared even better.  So that alone makes me hold the Complete Salon Manicure line in very high regard; next time I'm itching for a new color I know where to look.  In fact, there was a baby blue that caught my eye last time....


CVS Mini-Haul

I keep going into CVS for random things and passing by the Sally Hansen display, where I get distracted by the Complete Salon Manicure color First Kiss.  I kept talking myself out of buying it, because I had no money and more than enough nail polish that I haven't even used yet.  But I'm finally OK financially, so I figured what better way to waste my hard-earned money?  And of course, I couldn't just stop at one bottle; I ended up walking out with 4.

So in addition to First Kiss, I picked up Essie Fiji.  I'd been planning to eventually get OPI's Mod About You, then MissGlamorazzi mentioned this color, which is extremely similar.  And at the end of the day, CVS is closer to me than Ulta, so decision made.  Lastly I discovered a whole display of different colored crackles!  Yellow, green, purple...I really wish I had my camera with me.  And they must have put it out very recently, because every slot was filled.  I did a little test on one of my fingers with the pink (Hot Coture), and it was much more opaque than the Sally Hansen Vintage Violet I've got, so I decided to go ahead and try it.  I got the pink crackle for a specific manicure that I've got in mind, then the blue (Strike a Pose) I grabbed on a whim.  Looking forward to doing that pink mani, it's one I've been thinking about for awhile now.

Next up: Sally Hansen Salon Manicure First Kiss.  Right in time for the work week to start again.


Review: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Emerald Express

Colors like this are what make me desperately wish I had a job that allowed me to wear whatever I want on my fingers, because only 2 days before I have to remove it?  Not enough.



So this is e.l.f. Light Pink, from the previous post.  Barely recognizable anymore once I covered it with OPI Significant Other Color, then Essie Matte About You.  Not bad, huh?  A few more pics under the cut.


Review: e.l.f. Light Pink

Ew :/  Definitely want a pretty pale pink in my arsenal, but this is most definitely not it.  I got this for a dollar, and its not worth much more than that.  Pic is obviously pre-cleanup, because why bother when I knew I wasn't going to be leaving my nails looking like that.


Review: Sally Hansen Salon You-Gurt Style

If you'll excuse a picture taken after nearly a week of wear, as well as sloppy application to begin with thanks to my own clumsiness and complete lack of experience with jelly polishes (this is the only jelly I have ever used), allow me to review one of my favorite colors, Sally Hansen Salon You-Gurt Style.  I've had this bottle forever; I was honestly about to pitch it, it had gotten so old and gloopy, but sure enough, a bit of Seche Restore and I was good to go!


Review: Incoco Nail Strips

Today I bring you my first ever attempt to use nail strips.  And I have to say, I'm a fan!


Mascara Comparison

Maybelline Full 'N Soft has been my go-to mascara since sophomore year of high school; until receiving the recent samples in my Birchbox, I had tried very few other brands.  And before receiving said samples, it had also been quite some time before I had worn any makeup, period.  I was wowed the first time I used both the Anastasia and the blinc mascaras, but after comparing all 3 side by side, the results surprised me.


October Birchbox

I'm seriously on such a beauty high right now, playing with all my samples!  They're starting to overflow their containers on my vanity.  And I now have 2 empty Birchboxes, any ideas on how I should recycle them?


Target Sample Bag

I was so thrilled to open my mailbox today and discover not only my Birchbox, but my free sample bag from Target as well!  Every once in awhile, Target will send these out to the first certain number of people that sign up for them.  I got one last year, and now here is my second.  I found out through dealspl.us, when it popped up on their twitter account, and rushed over to Target's website to sign up.  The time is unfortunately passed (I ordered this one about a month ago), but keep an eye out and they're likely to offer it again.


August Birchbox: Final Thoughts

I know there were some complaints, at least amongst some of the YouTube vloggers, in response to this box.  But for my first one?  They really knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned.  I enjoyed quite a few of the products.

 01. Twistband
Like/Dislike? Ambivalent.
Thoughts? There's really nothing special about this.  The pros and cons pretty much balance each other out - it slips out of your hair easily, but it also doesn't hold as well as a regular scrunchie.  It looks OK around your wrist (which was supposed to be one of the main selling points - that you could basically wear it as a bracelet), but after several uses it starts to get twisted up, there's still the knot at the end, and the ends are now beginning to fray.  The knot at the end also looks just as silly in your hair as it does around your wrist - especially when trying to use the band at the end of a braid.  It doesn't leave as much of a crease as a scrunchie, but it definitely doesn't leave it completely crease-free.
Plans to Buy? No thanks.  It does seem to withstand time and repeated usage better than a traditional scrunchie, but at $5 for 3 Twistbands, it's just not worth the money.  Especially when I can get a pack of 20 plain scrunchies from the dollar store.


September Birchbox (#2)


Yet again, my plan of blogging consistently was derailed; this time by my missing camera charger.  But I finally sucked it up and bought a new one, so with any luck I can finally start making a dent on that backlog of polishes I have to review.  In the meantime, however - NEW BIRCHBOX!!

This month's theme is basically a Greatest Hits, because Birchbox is celebrating its one-year anniversary.  I have to say, the more I learn about the company, the more respect I have for the entire team.  Katia and Haley have built this thing from the ground up, and the amount of excitement and passion that they have for their product is amazing.

Bottom line, this box is awesome, and I'm so excited about using some of the products!



Last month, I signed up for Birchbox.  Check out the link if you don't know what it is, it's a pretty cool service.  Especially for someone like me, who doesn't spend a lot of money on beauty - it's a fun and cheap way to get small amounts of a variety of high-end products.  Last month's box was a Cynthia Rowley collaboration, and though the boxes differ from customer to customer (you fill out a short quiz and they try and tailor the items to you), most that I saw included mini bottles of Zoya colors.  So that's a double win for me, polish + Cynthia Rowley, whose family I've gone to church with since forever.  Not that I've ever met the woman or reap any sort of benefit from my 3 degrees of separation, but it's still cool to me, and I like to support a family friend.  Plus her stuff is adorable.

In any case, they sold out of the July box faster than anticipated, so I didn't get my first shipment until August.

Camera battery charger is currently MIA, so please excuse crappy webcam pics!


Crackle Crazy

So what have y'all been up to?  My blogging got a bit derailed by the BFF coming in for a visit, followed by a trip out to SoCal to visit another BFF, followed by a wedding and all the attached familial drama.  Whew!  Excited to have my life go back to normal.

So while in California, we attended ComiCon.  Oh, wow.  My first time, and it was such a blast, I'm already counting down the days 'til next year!   And obviously, since the logo is black and yellow, my nails had to match!


Review: Ulta Lucky Penny

Next up for review is Ulta's Lucky Penny.  I purchased this after using Golden Cinnabar for the first time in years, and I was wanting a straight copper.  I got it BOGO with a gold metallic, 14 Carat, that I'll be reviewing next.  I have to say I really like Ulta's square bottles - they remind me of pictures I've seen of Chanel's polish line, though with a rubberized cap, which I'm a big fan of.

Natural light


Review: Sally Hansen Golden Cinnabar

So for my first real polish review, I'm going with an older Sally Hansen color of mine: Golden Cinnabar, from the Nail Prisms line.  When my Seche Restore came in the mail, this was the one I first thought of trying to salvage.  I've had the thing since high school, it seemed a shame to see it go to waste.  I think it could still use another drop or two, but overall Seche Restore seems to be just as magic as Seche Vite!

Disclaimer of sorts before I continue:  I have been a loyal follower of All Lacquered Up for several months now; as such I feel like it's kind of inevitable that my reviews will end up being similar.  I'm not aiming to copycat, I just find the separation of the review into separate categories like application and color to be very helpful.  Also it will become painfully clear that I am nowhere near as informed or professional as Michelle, so there's nothing to worry about.

Additionally, apologies for this being later than I intended; I was waiting for some sunlight so I could get a decent picture, but sunlight is something we have not been having an abundance of lately; ironic given that I live in Florida.

Now that all of that's out of the way, I shall proceed.



Purely for space reasons, because the box fit so awkwardly in my polish container, I decided to start out the process of reviewing my stash with the Nailene DuraCoulour nail strips.  Let's just say it didn't turn out so well.

Now, I don't know if it's the fact that these only cost a dollar, or my own incompetence, but for the life of me I could not get them to lay flat on my nails.  In no way was this easier than traditional nail polish except for the lack of dry time.  I suppose I could see putting in the extra effort (if you could eventually get them to look right) for ones with an actual design, but for just a solid color I'd rather just paint them.


The Full Monty

So I decided to try and keep myself honest; here is a list of all the polish I currently own, that needs to be reviewed.  Some I've blogged about acquiring, some I haven't.  Here goes (alphabetical by brand):

Black Light Nail Polish Pink
Black Crackle

Light Red
Fair Pink


Funky Fingers
Stage Dive

Disco Lights
Jewel FX Gold
Jewel FX Gems

Silver Shatter
Alpine Snow
Significant Other Color

Pure Ice Crackle
Hot Coture
Strike a Pose 

Sally Hansen
Nail Prisms Golden Cinnabar
Salon You-Gurt Style
Insta-Dri Emerald Express
Insta-Dri Petal Pusher
HD Digital
Complete Salon Manicure First Kiss 
Complete Salon Manicure Gray by Gray
Crackle Overcoat Vintage Violet
Diamond Strength Fuschia Bling Bling
Diamond Strength Sunrise, Sunset
Hard as Nails Sheer Strawberry
Hard as Nails X-Treme Wear Blue Me Away!
Hard as Nails X-Treme Wear Disco Ball
Hard as Nails X-Treme Wear Mellow Yellow
Hard as Nails X-Treme Wear Mint Sorbet
Hard as Nails X-Treme Wear Sun Kissed
Hard as Nails X-Treme Wear Virtual Violet

Sinful Colors
Silly Alix
Sharons Heart
Summer Peach

Skin Food
BL 505

Lucky Penny
14 Carat


Miscellaneous Brands
Color Club Art Club White
L.A. Colors Color Craze BCC 560
Orly Rage
Petites Night

And, for the record, I also own:
Orly Bonder Basecoat
Sinful Colors Basecoat

Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails Strengthening Topcoat
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Clearly Quick Topcoat
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Out the Door Topcoat

Seche Restore
Essie Matte About You
Sinful Colors Quick Dry

Haha can you tell what my favorite brand is?

But damn, that's a lot!  At least for me it is.  And my cup officially runneth over, there's barely enough room to squeeze everything into the small decorative basket I've been using.  Which makes this perfect timing then to weed through once more and get rid of what I'll never use again - there's no possible way I need so many sheer pinks or hot pinks, it might very well end up in a smackdown!  I gave away the only polish I had ever reviewed, Essie Tart Deco, because salmon is Sam's favorite polish color and I just wasn't feeling it.  So starting soon look for all-new pics, reviews, and documentation of my ever-growing obsession.


Where's My 12-Step Program?

At what point do you throw in the towel and admit that what was once a casual interest has spiraled into full-blown obsession?  Because I'm pretty sure I've hit that point with polish; as evidenced by the fact that I went into Walgreens with the intention of buying a soda and walked out with 6 bottles of nail polish.  Sigh.  I won't photograph them all, and I've just been playing with them on my nails, haven't actually applied any of them properly, but my haul consisted of:

  • Sinful Colors Quick Dry.  Affordable drying drops??  Who knew?!
  • Sinful Colors Summer Peach, a neon orange.  I was going to get the neon yellow from the same collection, but the salesgirl warned me that it doesn't turn out as bright on the nails as it looks in the bottle, so I passed.
  • Milani Jewel FX Gems, which is about as close to a dupe for the overpriced Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday as you can get without being totally identical.
  • Milani Jewel FX Gold, a simple large hexagonal gold glitter.  I plan on painting my nails with Ulta 14 Carat, then layering the Milani over a single accent nail.  Bling!
  • Sally Hansen HD Digital.  Whatever, it's pink and it was on sale for $1.99.
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Sheer Strawberry.  On sale for $0.50 and I've been thinking about a pale pink jelly since seeing someone wearing a similar color this weekend.
If only I actually made the kind of money that would allow me to support this habit...as it is I'm struggling to pay rent every month, so constantly buying nail polish is not helping me out.  So here's my resolution:  I will stop buying and start blogging!  Because really, what's the point in having a nail blog if I just keep hoarding all this polish but never properly review any of it?  So my goal is to go through my entire current collection and review everything.  When I'm done, I'll give away what I don't want, and then I can start buying more if I feel like it.

...Just realizing that I have Ulta coupons, and my rewards points to spend.  ...Damn, this is going to be harder than I thought!  OK, maybe I can do some buying every once in awhile...if I have a really good reason...


Confessions of a Polishaholic

Hello, my name is Rachel, and I am a nail polish addict.

Spent the day with a friend yesterday, just chilling out and relaxing - shopping, eating, and watching DVD's.  After getting frozen yogurt from Menchie's, (which you should absolutely try if they have one in your area, btw.  Menchie's is amazing.)

Afterward, I insisted that we needed to hit up the Ulta next door.  Correction: I needed to hit up the Ulta.  Correction:  I wanted to hit up the Ulta, but did not need to and in fact probably shouldn't have, given the current state of my bank account.  This sobering reality did little to stop my feet from entering the door, and I walked out with OPI Significant Other Color, a great layering color.

I've seen it worn over OPI Mod About You, in particular, and it was a gorgeous look.



Just a tip for anyone who, like me up until this afternoon, is still searching for a black shatter/crackle polish.  You might try, of all places, Claire's.  While shopping/eating my friend suggested we go inside.  I was making some other purchases at the register when I noticed several bottles - and the best part is that I got it for only $2.50!  For someone like me, who can only wear fancy manicures a few days at a time, high-quality polish isn't always a priority, so why not get the same stuff for a fraction of the price?

More on the rest of that shopping trip and how I have become the crazy lady who can't leave the house without buying nail polish tomorrow.


Pretty and Witty and...

And so Gay Days come to a close.  Got just a small taste, didn't get to do as much as I would have liked, but lots of different things ended up coinciding on the same weekend.  Still, I managed to see the Disney-themed show on Friday, which was a complete blast - we thought our friend Sandy was going to pop a vein laughing so hard - and hit the parks on Saturday.  Next year I'm hoping to be free for the big bash at Typhoon Lagoon, and not too sick to enjoy the grand finale that was going on tonight!  In honor of the weekend, I wore the following:

The execution could have been much better, and I need a better green and purple - I used Zoya Caitlin, which obviously isn't supposed to be a bright color, and my Skin Food green, which was surprisingly weakly pigmented, compared to all of my other Skin Food colors.  The original plan was to do one rainbow nail and leave all the rest white, but six stripes ended up being too much effort for me, and in the end I did this pattern in about five minutes before rushing out the door.  Still, I liked the effect.  (The other colors are e.l.f. Light Red, then Sally Hansen Sun Kissed, Mellow Yellow, and Blue Me Away!  The white is OPI Alpine Snow.)


So Much Polish, So Little Time!

Oh my.  Over the past few days I've acquired a veritable treasure trove of new polishes to try out.

While shopping at Downtown Disney, Sam and I stumbled across an entire rack full of OPI's Silver Shatter!  I suppose it makes sense, given that it's part of the Pirates of the Caribbean collection.  So not only was I able to snag a bottle, but I got it with my 20% Cast Member discount.  Excellent!


C-ya Real Soon!

Been getting tons of compliments about my nails - I'm really not looking forward to taking them off when I go back to work!

Sam let me do her nails, which unfortunately didn't come out like I had hoped.  For starters, she only wanted one coat of red, and I think she could have used another.  Secondly, the combination of my shaky hands and old, thickened polish did NOT make for very nice dots.  Sam didn't want the bow on an accent nail, and we didn't have time for topcoat.  So by the time we snapped a picture the next day, they looked like this:


Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Finally free of the company rulebook for the week, so I decided to go all out!

By far, this is my favorite manicure that I've ever had.  (Close runner-up was the red nails/black tips combo my sister did for me for prom.)  And it's even cooler because I did it myself!  I used Chloe's Nails' scotch tape method, and it worked like a charm!  I need to get better about getting the lines straight and the proportions even from one nail to another, however.

Yellow: Sally Hansen XTreme Wear Mello Yellow
Orange: Sally Hansen XTreme Wear Sunrise, Sunset
Pink: Skin Food PK202
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails

The color combo may not be for everyone; I just spoke with a co-worker who was expressing disdain for these very three colors paired together.  But personally, I love them.  To me, pink/orange/yellow says FUN, HAPPY, BRIGHT, SMILE!  And, even more, to me they say summer!


Practice Makes Perfect

My Tart Deco mani was finally so terribly chipped that I had to take it off completely, it would not stay on - on one of my nails the polish even popped right off, like the entire nail at once!  Definitely need to use a topcoat next time I try Matte About You, but I'm also wondering if I was using the Orly Bonder properly.  Are there any tips or tricks for that?

In any case, I know that I won't be able to do my fun-color vacation mani for a few more days, and I was getting bored of bare nails in the meantime, so I decided to do a test run for Sam's Minnie-Mani.  I'm thinking red nails, white polka-dots on the fingers then a yellow bow on the thumbs.  Dots are easy, but I've never done a bow before, so here was my attempt.

No clean-up, because I'm just going to have to take this off before work tomorrow morning.

Hmmm.  Needs work, clearly.  Plus the wide brush in the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear color I'm using wasn't really made for fine-tuned designs.  I'll have to keep experimenting.


Dollar Store Finds

Most of the time, the makeup section at my local dollar store is pretty useless.  But every once and awhile you find something fantastic.  Like these blinged-out nail files that are SO much fun!

Or a bottle of e.l.f. Light Pink, which is somewhat similar in color to my Sally Hansen Yo-Gurt Style.  It also reminds me of OPI Mod About You, a color I've been lusting after, which made me really excited to find it.  I also really like e.l.f.'s bottle design.

In unrelated news: if you live in a wet climate, BEWARE OF YELLOW FLIES/DEERFLIES!!  I was supposed to run a 5k yesterday morning, but instead ended up popping Benadryl and elevating my ankle, which was swollen huge, as well as itchy and painful.  The friend I was supposed to run with also managed to come down with strep throat, so we made a pretty pathetic pair.

But, friends come into town in a little over a week, and I just found $100 in my budget, so time for a completely guilt-free staycation!


Tart Deco update

Survived work with my nails - even training under what's supposedly a stricter department than ours, but based on the people that I met today I'm beginning to question that; they were very cool and laid-back.  In any case, one of my bosses had a shimmery reddish color, and another girl had a purple holo, so I guess my worries were unfounded.  I'll just stay away from really bright eye-catching colors like white.

Tart Deco never really grew on me, I'm just not a fan of the color.  I'm considering putting a layer of white underneath it sometime to see if that will help lighten it up.  Next time, I'm also going to wear a topcoat!  I was under the mistaken impression that Matte About You was a topcoat, not just an effect to be added over a topcoat.  The result?  Quite a bit of chipping the first day alone.  Go ahead, laugh it up - I'm sure it's not the only rookie mistake I'll make.

In the meantime, I added an orange stripe (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed) on my thumbnails just for fun.  My first time using the Scotch tape method (as displayed so masterfully by Chloe's Nails) - it'll definitely need perfecting.  Not too easily noticeable, and I like the contrast of the shine and the matte (that you can't really see in the picture).  Plus, having a bit of fun makes me feel like I'm sticking it to the man.  Kinda.  Buckle up people, this is about as rebellious as I get.

In other beauty news, finally got mah hair did.  Hooray!  I didn't do anything fancy - just reshaped my bangs and added some layers - but oh man do I love the smooth feel of freshly-cut ends with no splits. 

Additionally, I let my friends who will be vacationing with me later this month know that I'm doing their nails.  Yay!  Something fun for me, and more content I can post for you guys without getting spoken to again.  Win-win!  Sam is getting a Minnie Mouse manicure - we found several pictures online that look absolutely adorable.  Ashley is really intrigued by the OPI Shatter topcoat, and if I can't find it at Ulta before they arrive she thinks her mother may have a bottle we can borrow and experiment with.  Their mani styles are so them - bright and cute vs dark and funky.  I'm looking forward to it!


Work-Safe Mani #1

I have to say, I was unimpressed with Essie Tart Deco.

For starters, I didn't find the application to be very smooth.  Then again, I'm experimenting with better technique (as reccommended by The Lacquerista), so hopefully that will improve over time.  Also, even after three thick coats, I still don't feel like I got bottle color.  It's much darker and more orange on my nails, nowhere near as light and fleshy looking as in the bottle.  I cut my nails because they were uneven and starting to annoy me while typing, so less nail means less polish.  To detract attention I also used my new Matte About You to take away the shine - which is super cool, I have never had matte nails before!  I'm just hoping that the color doesn't get me in hot water again at work.

On my toes, I simply covered the white with my Sinful Colors Silly Alix, then matte'd that as well.  And oh my god, it's so pretty!!!  I love the effect of matte over a shimmery color - it gets you this really gorgeous pearly effect.  I'd post a picture of my toes, but between my horrendous polish job, dry skin, and deformed big toenails due to repeated injury, I don't really think anyone wants to see a close-up of my feet.  Trust me.  But next work mani?  Definitely doing that same effect.


...In With the New

This is how long it's been since I shopped for makeup anywhere other than the drugstore:  I wandered around for a good ten minutes before I figured out where the nail polish section was - and that was only because I asked someone!  FAIL.  I saw small collections with other makeup from their respective brands, but I wasn't finding very much selection - until I asked, and was directed to the back of the store where there were three giant racks full of polish.  I AM VERY DUMB.


Out With the Old...

Off to Ulta later today, yay!  In the meantime, I sorted through what I do have to decide what to keep and what to toss.


Damn the Man

Predictably, I got spoken to both days that I worked this week.  Also accused of White-Out use no less than 4 times.  *Sigh*.  In my defense, white technically is a neutral color, and is close to my skin tone...heck it practically is my skin tone.  Not to mention I wore it last summer.  But my bosses weren't having it, so I promised to take it off before I work next.  Luckily, however, I have several days off before then, so I decided to add some embellishment just because I can.

That's purely freehand, I don't have any stencils or anything.  So maybe not the neatest it could possibly be, but I love the look of it, both alone and as part of the full manicure.  I love doing just one accent nail.

Also found another new OPI collection that I would give my firstborn child for:

Thanks to @AllLacqueredUp for the info - I think I'm still drooling.  Damn I need a better-paying job so I can afford all of these!  Looked up the nearest beauty supply store, and there's an Ulta in the shopping center down the road, so I'll definitely be heading that way soon.  Let's hope my bank account survives.


smell of wine and cheap perfume

Did anyone else know that OPI is releasing a Glee collection?!  Probably, I'm just very behind on the times, but I caught Naya Rivera's tweet this afternoon.  And seriously, why can't you link to an individual tweet?  Or can you and I'm just too stupid to know how?  In any case, I'm excited!  As inconsistent and at times somewhat offensive as that show can be, I will admit that I adore it.  Wholeheartedly.  Being a television production major, it's very hard for me to shut off the analytical part of my mind when watching pretty much anything, but I've trained myself to put on the blinders for Glee.  If I can ignore everything else, it's a happyfuntime show, just makes me smile and of course sing along!

They had better have a Rachel Berry Gold Star color.  Oooh, and a Grape Slushie!  And a Cheerios Red!  Okay, I'll stop now.


So Fresh and So Clean

Ironic that my first post is featuring not a bright color, but a neutral.  But I just love the look of plain white nails - they're bright, they're clean, they're chic, and they go with absolutely everything.  Don't be deterred by everyone telling you it looks like you used White-Out - white nails are awesome.

They also look way better when you're not using old, cheap polish that's thin and streaky, with a topcoat that does next to nothing to protect from chipping - this picture was only after a few days.  I scraped together my meager collection and after all the bottles over the years that have been lost, broken, spilled, left behind when I moved, or stolen by my sister, it's a sad sight indeed.  Not to mention most everything falls in the same category as above - cheap and old.  I think it's finally time to clean house and invest in some nicer products.

In other news, I'm still playing with my blog design.  I want to make a custom header, but I only have Photoshop on my old dinosaur of a desktop with the teeny-tiny monitor, so I haven't been able to make myself get into it yet.  I do like this template I'm using in the meantime, though.  I don't think I'll ever be a girly-girl, but pink will always be one of my favorite colors.  It's a happy color!

And last but not least, after no less than 3 hours of constant refreshing, I am in possession of Comic-Con tickets!!!!  Is it sad that I'm already planning what my nails are going to look like?  I'm thinking black and yellow, to go with the logo.



I never thought of myself as someone who would start a beauty blog.

Well, ok, to be fair: this is not entirely a beauty blog.  Nails will be the main focus, but my situation is such that I'm limited in my choices of nail color because of a super-strict dress code at work.  So fun designs and colors won't be able to be featured as much as I'd like.  Luckily, my love of bright colors and working with my hands extends to all sorts of crafts and fun stuff.  So consider this a nail blog with an additional focus on color and creativity in all forms.  Neutrals are boring - and why be drab when you can be fab??

As a bonus, you can keep a running tally of how many times I get yelled at at work.  That should be entertaining - for you, at least.