Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fairytale Finish Neverending Fairytales Subscription

I have a fun post today! I'm a member of a PNW polish group and it's a fun bunch of ladies to get to know! There are several local indie polish makers in the group, and one of them, Amanda of Fairytale Finish, has started her own monthly subscription service. I love supporting local independent businesses, so I decided to sign up. Amanda offers two subscriptions packages, one for $9 (including shipping) that contains one polish and a second for $16 (shipping included) that contains two polishes. The theme is different every month and the first month's theme was Mythical Creatures. With all of these factors, it seemed like a no brainer to sign up. So let's see what polishes came to me in this months box!

The first polish I received is Mermaid Tears. Given Amanda's love for mermaids (they are even part of her new logo), it's not surprising that there was a polish inspired by them! Mermaid Tears is a teal jelly polish with a variety of blue/green glitters, including small hexes and squares and some large shard glitter. I was a little worried with the combination of shard glitter in a jelly base, but I'm happy to report that it applied easily. The first coat was a little sheer, but it built up nicely. Two coats had a little bit of visible nail line, so I added a third and I think it looks great. I did just a minimal amount of dabbing to get a few glitters into place, but really, I could apply this easily and normally with minimal fuss.

Next up is Unicorn Princess. I can't lie to you-- I am a huge unicorn freak. Well, that sounds weird. When I was growing up, I was that girl who was obsessed with horses and unicorns. I read books about them, wrote stories about them-- basically, I wanted a unicorn. So I am totally biased about this polish already, hah. Unicorn Princess has a white crelly base with gold, hot pink and purple glitters. So basically, I'm in love-- I can't withstand the power of hot pink glitter. This was also easy to apply and I only did some minimal dabbing to move a few glitters around. My only minor complaint with this was that I don't think it self-level as well I would have liked, but to be far, I also might have put too much on my nail to begin with. And you can't see it in my photos, so maybe I'm crazy. In any case, the problem is probably solved by better application so I bet next time I won't have any issues.

Let's see some pictures!

Mermaid Tears:

 Unicorn Princess: 

These aren't my first Fairytale Finish polishes, but I have to say I am happily impressed with these. They arrived promptly, were packaged nicely, and applied easily! Winning! I like supporting a local indie polish maker and the price is very affordable.

If you are interested in signing up for the Neverending Fairytale Subscription, you can visit Fairytale Finish and sign up right up there! Amanda currently has two sign up periods during the month; I believe the current sign up period goes through July 3rd, but the next sign-up starts July 4th. July's theme is Jewels and Gems, and I can't wait to see the polishes!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Ah, Oui

Today I have another polish from the Rescue Beauty Lounge Je t'aime! Je t'aime! collection, which is based on owner Ji's time in Paris. Today I have Ah, Oui! (translation: ah, yes) which is described as being the epitomy of Parisian chic and as "not blue, not purple, and not gray; just picture a perfect, cloudless Parisian powdery periwinkle sky. This polish is a glasslike periwinkle crème jelly." When I first saw swatches of this collection, this was the polish I was drawn to first. My all-time favorite nail polish is creme, so when there's a pretty, bold periwinkle like this-- I had to have it. Periwinkle seems like it might be a demure color, but Ah, Oui! definitely packs a punch.

Because Ah, Oui! is a creme-jelly (or crelly), the formula is on the thinner side. The description on the RBL site calls it transparent in one coat, but it was more pigmented than that, at least with how I applied it. Because I have wider nail beds and the Rescue Beauty brush is pretty narrow, but I usually load the brush with polish to make sure I can actually cover my whole nail. I did need three coats to get the coverage you see in my photos. Because of the thinner formula, you do have to be careful of streaks and use a light hand when applying it. Ah, Oui! dried to a fairly glossy finish but I did add a shiny, quick-dry top coat.

Artificial light (flash):

This is a gorgeous polish, but is it necessarily worth the $20 price point? Well, probably not, but it depends on what you're comfortable with, of course. Ah, Oui! is a stunning color, but not necessarily unique-- though I I don't have time to try and find any dupes, so sorry about that. The formula is ok, but as it's a creme-jelly hybrid, it's to be expected that the formula is a bit on the thinner side. Given that

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Zoya Solange

And here we are with another installment of Texture Tuesday! Today I have another Pixie Dust to share with you-- Zoya Solange. I can only assume this is named after the fabulous Solange Knowles, who I think I has a great sense of style, and shhhh, I think I like Solange better than her sister. Solange is described as a "gold metal foil sparkle" and this is description is spot on. It's a yellow gold base with a strong gold shimmer. 

Solange is similar to all the other Pixie Dusts that I have tried so far-- it went on easily and smoothly. It was a little on the sheer side, but three coats gave me great, opaque coverage. As with all the other polishes, it dried down quickly to the textured finish. It wore well-- didn't chip for several days and then it came off easily when I wanted to remove it.

Artificial light (flash):

I sound like a broken record, but this is another slam dunk from the Pixie Dust collection. I even got a compliment from a girl at the döner kebab restaurant I sometimes frequent, and that always makes my day. I have a soft spot for yellow gold polishes and I feel like they look great with everything. So Solange is definitely a winner! I love this and I really wish Zoya would make these polishes again-- can you imagine some pastels or brights? I already want to wear Solange again!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Illamasqua Serenity

Just a quick post to slide in here before Monday is over-- I was totally lame this weekend with all the heat and didn't get anything done. We'll call this "Matte Monday" because I have a fun matte polish to share with you today. Today I have Illamasqua Serenity, which is described as a "bright turquoise" and has a matte rubber finish. It was part of the Rubber Brights collection, which was released back in 2012. I picked this beautiful baby up off Hautelook!

Serenity has a good formula-- it wasn't too thick and applied easily (though along with most matte polishes, it will want to thicken up as you use it). I think I used two coats here, though it's possible I used three. With the rubber finish it did dry down quickly, so I waited until each coat was completely dry before adding the next coat. But you can see that it self levels and doesn't look streaky or lumpy.

Artificial light (flash):

Perhaps not surprisingly, I love Serenity. It's blue and it has the rubber finish, which I think is awesome. So this checks all the right boxes in my book! Looking forward to trying the other rubber finish polishes I picked up; hopefully sooner rather than later!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

L'Oreal Vintage Rose

Quick post because I am feeling very tired as I write this. It's almost the weekend-- just a couple more days to get through! Today I have a polish from last summer to show you-- Vintage Rose from the L'Oreal Miss Denim collection. This was the lone pink in a collection of blues and greens and it's such a gorgeous rose pink color that I couldn't resist it. There's something so attractive and feminine about this polish, I just love the color-- and I don't usually gravitate towards pink (though I do appreciate it).

Vintage Rose had a good formula, from what I recall-- two coats gave nice, opaque coverage and due to the textured finish, it dries quickly. No top coat needed! Easy peasy!

Artificial light (flash):

This is such a pretty color! I wish they had this color in a non-textured finished as well. But I really do like this polish as it is; this color and texture combination are unique to my collection. It's such a gorgeous pink, I love it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

KB Shimmer Radient Orchid

Despite all of my love for textures and mattes and holos and shimmers, when it comes down to it, I love cremes most of all. There is just something about a shiny, smooth creme polish; it looks wonderful. Today I have KB Shimmer Radiant Orchid, which was released last year in honor of the Patone Color of the Year... you guessed it... Radiant Orchid. This polish is described as a "pink toned purple has fuchsia and mauve undertones" and is supposed to be as close as it can to the actual chip color. I wasn't a huge fan of this color when it was initially announced, but it grew on me, so when this color went on sale I decided I needed to have it.

Radiant Orchid was a breeze to apply. Nicely pigmented but not too thick or too thin! It went on smoothly, no issues, and dried down to a nice shiny finish in a reasonable amount of time. This is a polish that was a pleasure to use-- the type you wish every polish could be, haha!

Artificial light (flash):

This creme did not disappoint! This is first creme I've tried from KB Shimmer and I continue to be incredibly happy with the brand. I can see why they are one of the go-to indie brands for a lot of people. As far as Radiant Orchid goes, this is a great polish and I think itt captures the color perfectly!

Currently Radiant Orchid is on sale for $5.00 at KB Shimmer so if you like it, get it before it disappears.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Julep Ali and LuLu

Inititally I was going to post these separately, but I had pretty similar things to say about them so I figured I would put them in the same post, rather than just repeat myself! I don't want to get too repetitive. Today I have Julep Ali and LuLu to share with you. Like Janet, these two polishes have the "soft-focus" semi-matte finish and were released back in March. Ali is described as a "hint of mint" while LuLu is a "wisteria mist."

This both had a similar formula, and that was similar to Janet. While decently pigmented, they are on the thick side and prone to dragging and streaking, unfortunately. So annoying! I used a light hand and that helped a lot, as well as being careful not to go back over any areas I had already painted. The semi-matte finish does dry fairly quickly (but not so quickly that it messed up your application) and in the ended I needed three coats to get even coverage. It's not horrible, but it's not great either.


Ali does look a little bit more glossy here, but it really does dry down to a more matte finish. 


I do like the soft focus finish, but I do wish the formula was a bit better. It's the white pastel base, I'm sure. Overall, I like the polishes even though I wish that the formula was a bit better! But I like that Julep does explore a variety of finishes, which definitely helps keep the Maven boxes interesting month after month.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ballerina Pink Tieks by Gavrieli

And now for something completely diffferent! I feel like Tieks ballet flats are having a moment right now-- at least, or maybe that's because I have been looking at them and now they are popping up everywhere. I have seen them pop up on my Facebook feed and finally have seen a couple people wearing them in person and have had my eye on them. In December, Julep partnered with Tieks and offered a $50 Tieks gift card with any order. So I decided to take the plunge and bought a Julep eyeliner set and got my gift card. The only caveat was that it had to be used by December 31st, which I completely forgot about until that night so I was anxiously debating about which color I wanted to get. Eventually I decided on the ballerina pink ones-- I figured it was neutral enough to be worn with many colors and would be a good color for spring and summer, when they would see the most use. 

Tieks arrive in a cute little box (colored like a Tiffany's box) with a flower on top (one of my boys was not amused when I tried to make him wear it as a headband-- I wish I had a picture).  Shipping was fairly quick as well and they don't send them in a huge box which is nice-- excessive, unnecessary packing irritates me a lot (looking at you, Nordstrom). Tieks only come in whole sizes, so I went up a half size to make sure that I had plenty of room. I think that was right call-- the shoes do stretch a bit but post-pregnancy my feet have changed and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of room.

The shoes are packed up nicely when they arrived, along with a little carrying sack and a reusable tote bag. They come folded up, so you are a little bit curled up after you take them out.

I definitely stretched these out by wearing them around my house before wearing them out, and I think that helped. While they weren't tight and pinching when I first wore them, it definitely helped to break them in a bit before wearing them for extended periods of time, as it does with any new shoes, so you can see how they fit and feel on your foot.

Me, lounging around in my sweatpants with my Tieks:

Wearing them with jeans:

And in my standard summer uniform for work:

 So far I have to say I'm pretty happy with my Tieks! Are they completely perfect? No. As flats they have no arch support, so if that's necessary for you, these probably aren't the shoe for you. You should be able to put an insert in them, but whether or not it works and is comfortable is another question. They are pretty comfortable for walking and I like the cushioning on the heel and ball of the foot, but I do get some rubbing across the joint of my left big toe-- it doesn't really hurt during the day but I find myself glad to take them off when I get home. Otherwise, though, I don't have many complaints. These do come with a hefty price tag (the cheapest ones are $175) but personally, when it comes to shoes, I believe you get what you pay for-- you want good shoes that will last a long time and I willing pay more money for that rather than buy a lot of cheap shoes that aren't good for your feet. I am looking at purchasing another pair (maybe the metallic pewter ones). Given that I am technically supposed to wear closed toed shoes in the lab, I like having cute flats to wear during the summer. My Tieks fit the bill!

With the price tag being high, Tieks does offer free shipping and returns, and I have heard that their customer service is good, though I have not personally had a reason to interact with them.

So, what are your favorite flats for summer? Do you have the same "you get what you pay for" attitude when it comes to shoes (or clothes or anything in else in life)?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Barry M Passion Fruit

It's Friday! Hooray! I have a fun summery polish today-- Passion Fruit from Barry M. This is another polish from their Gelly line, which are not jellies but supposed to be like gel polishes in that they dry to a high shine finish. Passion Fruit is a bright red-pink coral creme polish.

The formula of Passion Fruit was pretty good-- nicely pigmented, if a touch on the thick side when applied. I feel like it was a might streaky but it also could have been my imagination. My eyes might have been deceiving me, haha. I used three coats here just to make sure it was completely opaque. It did dry to a shiny finish, though I did add a top coat because I always do (unless it's supposed to be matte).

Artificial light (flash):

This is a perfect punchy color for summer! This will definitely be working its way into my pedicure rotation for the warm weather season that is currently upon us.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Triple Play Thursday: Nail Nation 3000 Holos

This is embarrassing. While going through some files on my computer, I stumbled across these swatches from Nail Nation 3000. And they are from... August 2013, before my kids were born. Um, wow, that's really shameful! Especially since these are really pretty polishes! If I recall correctly, there was a lot of buzz when these were originally released because at the time, I don't think there were a lot of neon holo polishes out there. So it's a shame I never got around to posting these until now! But enjoy some awesome holo goodness as we get ready to head into the weekend! I picked up three polishes from this collection, Awesome Sauce, Glam Bot, and Wow-a-Doodle.

Unfortunately I don't have any notes on these, but I don't recall having any issues and I'm pretty sure these all went on smoothly and in two coats. They are all pretty holographic, although in my photos Wow-a-Doodle looks the most holographic. I'd actually have to pull out my bottles to compare to see if this is true or if it's just a trick of the camera. These are all perfect summer colors-- I know holos are traditional for summer, but I never stop loving them. You can't go wrong!

Awesome Sauce is a neon orange holographic:

Glam Bot is a barbie pink neon holo:

Wow-a-Doodle is a bright blue holo:

I'll be honest-- I find the Nail Nation 3000 restocks to be a bit confusing, so you just need to trawl her website and facebook page. She does make some gorgeous holos, though! And, if you happen to look at these swatches and wish you could get your hands on these particular polishes-- you can!! Some of the polishes from this collection have been reformulated and released, and you can pick them up now! Awesome Sauce is not currently available, but Glam Bot and Wow-a-Doodle are! I know I plan on picking up a couple of the polishes I missed the first time around.