Thursday, October 8, 2015

Purple Thursday: OPI Do You Have This Color in Stockholm?

And for another switch up, we're having a Purple Friday on Thursday! The Huskies are playing tonight down in LA against the USC Trojans (and former coach) so of course it's a big game! And of course I have a purple mani to show you! It's a Husky game day! I'm not super optimistic about the game, but am hoping we play well and maybe, just maybe, pull out a win. That would be amazing!

This week I decided to go with a classic purple creme, mainly because I'm lazy and wanted something quick, but also because it's well, really, it's a classic! So is the UW-USC rivalry and we've had some awesome (and heart-breaking) games. So I grabbed a polish from the company that started my nail polish addiction: OPI. This is Do You Have This Color in Stockholm? and was released as a part of the 2014 F/W collection. This polish, which has an insanely long name, is a deep right purple with blue tones. The color is incredible. However... the formula leaves a lot to be desired. It's decently pigmented, but it's thin and watery and so goes on very streaky. Womp womp. It's workable, just not would I would have hoped for. I used three coats here and I would recommend using a light hand to avoid dragging and creating more streaks. I basically tried to "float" the third coat on there to make sure I got rid of all the streaks, because there were still there after two coats. On the upside, it did dry down quickly and does dry to a shiny finish (I'm not wearing a top coat here).

Artificial light (flash):

I wasn't thrilled with these photos with my photos-- you can tell it's purple, but it looks a little washed out. So I took a couple photos with my iPhone-- they're not great quality, but I think the color looks a lot closer to real life.

So that's it for this week! The color is fabulous, but the formula left a lot to be desired. Which is a shame, because I expect more from OPI in general and they generally deliver. Bummer! But... I'm willing to forgive them because this is a pretty fabulous purple. And so with that, I'm signing out!

Go Dawgs! Beat the Trojans!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Colors by Llarowe Believe in Miracles

Ugh, I have been battling a cold and it's no fun. I hate colds! My nose has been running like a faucet and my sinus ache. Over it! I originally planned on doing some swatching over the weekend but was feeling way too miserable to attempt it. But I did get some blog posts written! Today I have a truly stunning polish to share with you-- Colors by Llarowe Believe in Miracles. CbL has started a new series of polishes for each month, releasing on the first day of the month and are available on that day only. I actually missed this when it was released on the Llarowe website and managed to snag it off the Harlow & Co website-- so if you miss a release you may be able to get it through a distributor!

Believe in Miracles is a gorgeous deep teal holographic polish. It does have a slight linear aspect to it, but overall has a scattered appearance that gives it a lot of depth. It's hard not to be captivated by this-- I feel like this is a perfect mermaid polish. Believe in Miracles had a great formula; went on smoothly and easily and I used two coats here. Siiiigh, isn't this dreamy?

Artificial light (flash):

Believe in Miracles is so gorgeous. I got several compliments on her, which is always helps give a polish a high mark-- if someone else comments on it, you know it makes a statement. Definitely a winner, and I'm someone who doesn't usually go for greens and teals. I'm really glad I picked this up!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fairytale Finish August 2015 Neverending Fairytales Box

I'm running so behind, as per usual. I keep thinking maybe I'll catch up, but hahahhaha I think we all know the truth. Maybe if I could take a week long vacation with my kids and my husband. ;-) Not likely! This week I have the July Neverending Fairytales Box from Fairytale Finish. This box had the theme of "baked goods" so the two polishes are inspired by that! There was also a fun little mani bomb included that was lemon cake scented and it smelled so good I wanted to eat it (I did not, though, don't worry!).

First up we have Triple Berry Tart, which is a hot pink crelly with a mix of blue and white glitters and a fine shimmer to it. It applied pretty well, though I did feel like the glitters were a little more sparse when I applied it (though it doesn't look like it in my pictures, so I think I'm just a little crazy). I mostly applied this like I would a non-glitter polish, though I done a little bit of dabbing to make sure the glitters were where I wanted them. I used three coats here, just to make sure I want the coverage I wanted. I probably could have gotten away with two!

Triple Berry Tart:

For some reason, this photographed a lot brighter and more red/orange than pink. You can clearly see that the bottle has a much pinker base, and that is what it looks like in life.

Next up we have Choc Full of Holo, which, if you can't from the name, is a chocolate holographic! It's a cooler leaning brown, and really gorgeous. The holo is linear, but not particularly strong. It does give it a really nice sparkle, though! I wore this polish for several days, though I felt like I needed to wait until fall to do so because brown just does not read summer to me. Sorry, brown, but it's true. It looked great and held up really well.

Choc Full of Holo:

Another great box from Amanda and Fairytale Finish! As per usual the polishes were awesome, and the packaging was great (though I never manage to get a picture of it). I have really been enjoying this subscription box! Hopefully I'll get a review of September's box up soon, though we'll see if that actually happens! Will I catch up? Tune in to find out!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Seahawks Monday

Woo, a slight change of pace this week! The Seahawks play the Detroit Lions this week for Monday Night Football. With the Huskies having a bye week I actually painted my nails for the game! So I thought I'd shake things up with my regular posting schedule and share my manicure. I was sick last week and into this week but am finally starting to feel a bit more like myself, so I squeezing in this post before bedtime-- I just finished applying this to my nails! Fresh of the presses, literally!

This week I picked another one of my Seahawks themed polishes-- this time, Sea, from Daily Hues Nail Lacquer. This is part of a duo-- I've actually shown you the other polish, Hawks, previously. Sea, as the name might suggest even if you weren't a Seahawks fan, is an ocean blue holographic. Sea has a jelly-like consistency and is on the sheer side. I used three coats here and it's still a bit sheer for my taste. But I didn't use undies and I didn't want to do another coat so here we are! With the jelly like formula, I did have to be a bit careful with my application and use a light hand to avoid dragging it. The linear finish is linear, though it isn't an extremely strong linear. It does have a very nice sparkle, though!

Artificial light (flash):

I like Sea, though I wish it were a little more opaque. However, with the color, name and jelly like finish, I can almost imagine this as a piece of seaglass, so I'll live with the sheerness.

Go Hawks!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Enchanted Daydream

Today I have a fun, pretty polish to share with you! This is Enchanted Polish Daydream, which was a polish that was available this summer and these swatches have been sitting around for awhile because I've had a lot of other polishes that I've swatched! Hope everyone had a great weekend-- mine was pretty busy, though generally good. Even though my football team lost, womp womp. And my kids were acting like little terrors, hah. Oh well! Daydream is described as a "light aqua blue holographic" and I would say that it looks pretty mint to me, as opposed to aqua, but there definitely is blue in there. I feel like this color is a sweet, wistful feeling to it, and the name really suits it.

Like most Enchanted's, this polish had a great formula. It went on easily and I'm pretty sure I only needed two coats to get perfect, opaque coverage. I love a no-muss, no-fuss formula! Given that I generally am applying my polishes in the evening, after my kids go to bed and we've eaten dinner, I also love when a polish goes on easily and quickly.

Artificial light (flash):

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, Daydream isn't really all that unique these days--but I still find it to be very pretty! And the easy formula and application are always a winning combination in my book. Happy Monday all!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Purple Friday: Zoya Carter

And we're back at Friday again, yay!! We had a really fun time tailgating last week, even though it did not go as planned (we had some issues with our BBQ and the wind). My manicure for last week got a lot of compliments-- people were astounded I did it myself. But this week I wanted to go with something simple and easy (and less time consuming) so I turned to one of my favorite line of polishes-- Zoya Pixie Dusts! Ever since Zoya Carter was released, I knew this would be a great polish for a Purple Friday post and hey, this Friday is as good as any to bust it out! Next week is a bye week so I'll have a few days to work on more manicures for future posts!

Carter is described as a "royal purple with a strong magenta sparkling, matte and textured finish" and this is pretty spot on. Carter boosts a stellar formula and applies easily in two coats, so no issues here. At first it went on pretty sheer with the magenta sparkle and I was a little worried, but two coats was great and the purple filled in. Perfect for rocking on a late September afternoon at a football game! My photo made Carter a little more blue toned than it is in real life, where it has a more red tone.

Artificial light (flash):

And that's it for this week! I think this is a really stunning purple! Probably one of my favorite Pixie Dusts ever-- the color and the sparkle really makes this polish awesome.

Go Dawgs! Beat the Bears!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

HPB Presents Autumn Dry Brush Manicure!

Yesterday was actually my wedding anniversary so this was the manicure I was sporting (probably should have posted this yesterday instead of my downer post). But it is the first day of fall today, so that's appropriate, right? I had stumbled across a whole mess of untouched polishes that looked to be a perfect fit for a fall themed manicure. Initially I thought I would use the saran wrap technique to dry and create a manicure with layered fall colors-- similar to a pile of leaves-- but then I decided I wanted to branch out and do something new! So I decided to use a similar but new-to-me technique, the dry brush technique! Thankfully, it's pretty simple-- you wipe most of the polish off the brush and then lightly swipe across your nails, leaving little slashes of color. Sounded good to me!

I started with two coats of Julep Marsala, a rich red brown creme. Then I swiped on Lyn B Designs Whirled Peas, a yellow gold/orange duochrome holographic. Then I took Julep Ryan, a deep teal satin. This was probably a bit of mistake, because the teal is darker color than the gold, but it ended up being a sheer so luckily it worked out in my favor! Then I tried to use Loaded Lacquer Booze & BBQ, a shimmery orange on top, but it ended up being too sheer in just one coat, so it left sparkle behind, but no orange color. I didn't want to try and add another color at that point because I felt it would be overkill and make the finished product too messy.

Artificial light (flash):

There are things I like and don't like about this manicure. Even though the colors looked really beautiful spread out on my table, they turned out a little muted on my nails. I wish they had been just a bit brighter. I was also annoyed that the orange I used turned out to be more sheer than I anticipated-- it added sparkle, but not the color I wanted. Oh well! I do think the dry brush is a really fun technique and I love the rich, brocade look this manicure ended up having even if it wasn't what I envisioned initially! 

Hope you enjoyed my fall themed manicure! I'm really enjoying these monthly manicures as a way to explore my nail art skills and doing something different aside from just swatching! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Illamasqua Optimist

Hey all! Today I have another one of the Illamasqua Rubber Brights to share with you-- this time it's Optimist, which is described as a "warm orange/yellow". Spot on, really. To me, it looks slightly more yellow in the bottle, but has a very strong orange tone. This does dry to the rubber finish, which is a slightly shiny satin finish, instead of a true, flat matte.

I have to be honest, I struggled with this polish. I found it to be streaky and on the thick side. Now, I did apply this during the summer, which was pretty darn hot and I might have had the fan on, which might have contributed to my issues, but I was really frustrated. I felt like I couldn't get it even, despite using a very light touch and thickness made it difficult to spread evenly and avoid leaving streaks in the finish. Argh! I have loved all the other rubber polishes Illasmaqua has made, so it was too bad this didn't work for me. Perhaps if I try again in the future, it will work better! I ended up using three coats here and wasn't completely satisfied-- but I also lacked the energy to try and make it absolutely perfect.

Artificial light (flash):

Unfortunately, with all the other highs I've experienced with Illamasqua polishes so far, I'm a little let down by Optimist. I think the color is fun (though I wish it were more yellow as opposed to yellow-orange [or orange-yellow]-- I feel like this has a very Crayola feel it, haha) but I do wish the formula had been better!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Savina Beach Ball

Ok, I have to sneak in one last bright before summer is officially over, even though it's currently raining in Seattle right now. Today I have Savina Beach Ball, which is a bright neon coral creme. This was another polish I picked up at Nordstrom Rack this summer. To me, this is one of my favorite colors for summer-- coral AND neon. You can never go wrong! It works with everything. Unfortunately, Beach Ball didn't have the best formula. It was a little streaky to apply and even at three coats I wasn't entirely happy with my polish job. Certainly, I think from a distance it wasn't really noticeable, but it still annoyed me. I used three coats here and it does try down to a satiny finish due to the neon pigment. My pictures make it it look extremely bright-- and it is bright in real life, though I think the flash here definitely takes it to an extreme; it's not quite so blinding in real life.

Artificial light (flash):

And with that we bring the summer season to an end! (Booooooooo!) I definitely tend to pull out the brights in the cold winter months but now I'm definitely craving some more autumnal colors as weather has turned towards the cooler side. Are you enjoying fall or is it still summer where you are?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Purple Friday: Purple Gradient

Hey all! It's time for another installment of Purple Friday! Today I have some purple nail art to share with you! This week the Dawgs take on the Aggies of Utah State (what's an Aggie, anyway?), which just happens to be my mother-in-law's alma mater! So as a birthday present my husband and I bought her tickets to the game and are throwing a tailgate to celebrate and both our families are coming up to party. Should be a fun time! I decided that because this was a special occasion, I should do something fun and not just a plain old purple! 

I went out through my purple polish box and pulled out three different shades of purple to use in my gradient. First I decided to use Different Dimension Grus, a light lilac holographic, as my base and then I sponged that, Girly Bits Protect Your Girly Bits, and ILNP Contraband on top of it. I had to go over it a couple of times, but it was pretty easy to apply. I was trying to use Protect Your Girly Bits as a transition shade between Grus and Contraband but I had trouble seeing it. I think it does help, but gets a little lost because Contraband is so dark. 

Artificial light (flash):

I'm not totally in love with my gradient skills-- something I need to work on! And how do people clean this up? I swear I'm incompetent at the actual clean up portion of painting my nails. Once it gets on my cuticles, it's game over-- I can't get it off! But I hope you can overlook that and just look at the pretty purple polishes! 

Go Dawgs! Beat the Aggies!