Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lacquistry I Make It Rain (Leaves)

Missed me yet?! I am missing blogging like crazy, because my days are filled with babies and while I am (barely) keeping up on reading all the blogs I follow, I can't wait until I am able to do some swatching and blogging on a regular basis again. I have only been able to paint my nails ONCE in the past 8 weeks, wah! Of course, I knew it was going to be like this but I am definitely looking forward to the days when I have a bit more time to do things for myself again! At least I have been able to make it out of the house a few times by myself, even if I can't find the time to paint my nails. On to the polish!

I know this is a fall polish, but if I don't put it on the blog now it might never get on! I Make It Rain (Leaves) is one of Lacquistry's fall polishes from 2012, so I'm already a year behind posting it anyway. Of course, I swatched this polish before I ended up in the hospital and didn't actually take notes. Shoot! I know I layered this over a Julep polish-- I'm pretty sure it's Sharon, which is a red shimmer. I Make It Rain (Leaves) is a mix of autumnal glitters-- red, gold, green, orange, and silver of various sizes and shapes-- in a clear base, which makes it a good layering polish. I unintentionally (er, I mean, it was totally intentional) am showing how you can load up the glitter in one coat if you want, or you can go for a sparser look (my middle nail). This color combination really does look like a pile of leaves on your nails, so I definitely think Lacquistry succeeded in capturing that with this polish. If I recall correctly, the formula was good (maybe slightly on the thick side) but it was very easy to get a lot of glitter on the nail. Unfortunately, this polish is not currently available and I don't know if it will ever come back, but you can check out Lacquistry's Etsy shop if you are interested in any of her other polishes!

Looking at these pictures and the current state of my hands makes me want to cry and I will never complain about my cuticles again. They look terrible right now!! Between the babies, the freezing weather and having to wash my hands all the time, my hands are well and truly wrecked right now and I barely have time to take proper care of them. Maybe it's a good thing I can't actually swatch right now, because yikes! They look awful. I am open to suggestions for any good heavy winter hand creams you guys use!

Hopefully I can get more of the polishes I have already swatched on the blog over the next month or so, but it's all dependent on the kiddos and how much down time they'll allow me. These days it's a bonus if I'm out of my pajamas by noon or take a shower. So far today I am failing on both accounts, but oh well! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Short (hopefully!) hiatus

Well, I have two pretty good reasons for taking some time away from my blog right now-- my new baby boys, Edward and Phillip! They were born on October 12th, after what seemed like an interminable stay in the hospital because of preeclampsia and then a very long and arduous labor & delivery (I will spare you the details here)-- and almost another week in the hospital after that, including a short NICU stay for Phillip! We're all home and doing very well-- the boys are three weeks old today and gaining weight like champs and I am rebounding from my c-section remarkably quickly.

Still, it's a lot of work caring for two infants and even though we have help from both grandmas (one after the other)... it's a lot of work!! Granted, they are only three weeks old and things will get better but in the meantime my life mainly consists of changing diapers, feeding/pumping and trying to get some sleep. Truly glamorous, yes? But they are adorable and I love them to bits. So my blog will be on a bit of a hiatus until they're a bit bigger and I actually have time to paint my nails and post! I do have swatches, but it's finding time to post that's an issue. Hopefully soon!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Football Friday: Stanford Edition

This post almost didn't happen because I was admitted to the hospital Wednesday afternoon and had to stay overnight (due to high blood pressure and protein) but luckily they decided to discharge me yesterday because medically I didn't need to stay, nor did they have to induce labor. I'm under strict orders to monitor my blood pressure and return if anything changes, so I hope I can at least make it through the weekend! It felt so good to sleep in my own bed. So this post will be pretty short and sweet. I do have to say, though-- I was still sporting my Football Friday manicure from last week and I got a lot of compliments from the nurses in Labor & Delivery. That made me feel better.

Tomorrow UW meets Stanford, and both teams are undefeated and ranked in the Top 25.  So it's a big match-up, especially because UW beat Stanford last year and helped to wreck their national title hopes. Even though UW has been playing well on both sides of the ball, I'm worried about Stanford wearing us down. We'll see what happens. Hopefully it'll be a good game.

I decided to keep my manicure for this week really simple and just picked up a purple polish to wear. Because I already used it last week, I decided to use FingerPaints A Grape Catch as my full mani this time around. A Grape Catch is a warm grape colored purple with a strong silver shimmer that makes it lean a little cool. It's so pretty! The polish was a little on the sheer side, though two coats gave pretty good coverage. I used three coats just to make sure I had complete coverage.

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Go Dawgs! Beat the Cardinal!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sally Hansen Laughie Taffy

I have another Sugar Coat polish from Sally Hansen to share with you-- this is Laughie Taffy. Contrary to how I personally imagine laffy taffy to be (generally, bright pink or green because it's candy), Laughie Taffy the polish is a dark navy blue texture. Even though it looks like a creme in the bottle, on the nail there is a bit of shine to the texture, which keeps it from looking flat (hooray!). This was almost good in one coat, but I used two and that was perfect. Even though I believe they say you don't need a base coat with these textured polishes, but I did because I was afraid of staining. Like other textured polishes, Laughie Taffy dries quickly and you don't need a top coat.

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Another great texture polish that I think fits perfectly for fall. I love how deep the blue is, without seeming black. I love how it looks as the texture-- not sure I would like it as much with a to coat. I'm really glad I picked this one up!

In other news, today was my last day at work before going on maternity leave-- I'm hoping I can get a week or so of rest before the babies come! It's been hard for the last few weeks, but I'm happy with how I left things and hopefully now I can focus on taking care of two infants and not worry about what's happening at work!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sally Hansen Red Velvet

Today I have another textured polish to share with you-- Sally Hansen Red Velvet. This summer Sally Hansen released two different sets of textured polishes (or as they call them, Sugar Coats) and I found the second set to be a lot more interesting than the first collection. When I found the collection at my local Fred Meyer, I picked up three. The first I have for you is Red Velvet, which is a metallic raspberry texture. There's no glitter in this polish, but it does have a shiny, sort of frosty finish.

I used three coats  of Red Velvet, though you might be able to get away with two. And of course, being a textured polish, I didn't use a top coat.

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 I really like this textured polish-- even though I tend to prefer the sparkly, glittery ones, the metallic finish of Red Velvet keeps it from falling flat. Literally. Plus, I love the rich raspberry color of this polish-- it's perfect for fall.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Football Friday: Arizona Edition (Part I)

This is probably my last big Football Friday manicure, as we've got between 2-3 weeks before our babies are born! So I except the next few posts (assuming there are ones) will probably be fairly simple. Tomorrow we start Pac-12 play against the Arizona Wildcats (and then later on will play Arizona State, hence the Part I). Last year we lost terribly to Arizona, but this year is more difficult to predict-- it's early in the season and neither team is really proven, though theoretically UW has played the more difficult schedule thus far. I'm also making the decision to skip this game and I'm glad, because there's supposed to be a huge rain and wind storm hitting the Seattle area and that doesn't seem appealing to me at all. 

This week I went back to my favorite nail art technique, a sponge gradient. I wanted to play off our uniforms a little so I used FingerPaints Bare No Secrets as my base and then sponged FingerPaints A Grape Catch on top of it. Then to add to zing, I layered Wet n Wild 18K Gold over it. I really like how this manicure turned out. It's subtle, but still spirited.

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Go Dawgs! Beat the Wildcats!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Essence Stuck on You

Today I have another Essence polish to share with you-- Stuck on You. This is a gorgeous shade of creamy greyed out indigo blue with silver shimmer. I saw this shade reviewed on a few other blogs and fell in love with it. Given Essence's easy on the wallet price tag ($1.99, woo), it an easy decision to grab this. I feel like this color is perfect for fall-- a slightly darker color, but with a nice shimmer to elevate it.

Stuck on You really wanted to be sheer in the first coat, so I recommend using a light touch so you don't thin the polish out too much. Two coats made my swatches totally opaque, no issues. I'm not wearing a top coat in these pictures, so you can see it dries to a relatively high shine. This can be dark under certain lighting conditions, but doesn't look black. The shimmer does become a little more difficult to see in these same lighting conditions, but you never lose it entirely.

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Wow, my fingers look terrible in these pictures. Sorry about that. They need some love! In any case, I hope despite my awful lack of hand care, you can see how lovely Stuck on Your is. Unfortunately, I think this polish may be getting phased out and don't see it available on Ulta, but you may still be able to find it in stores or on other websites (depending on where you are).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

FingerPaints Our Tips Are Tealed

Today I have a new polish from FingerPaints to share with you-- Our Tips Are Tealed, from the "A Pair Affair" collection that was created by legendary nail polish blogger Michelle Mismas, author of All Lacquered Up. Now, All Lacquered Up was the very first nail polish blog I was ever introduced to and definitely helped to kick off my nail polish love and desire to eventually start my own blog. When she announced that she had teamed up with Sally Beauty to create her own nail polish collection, I was excited and when I saw the final polishes I knew I would get them all. Generally, a polish like Our Tips Are Tealed doesn't really jump out and grab me, but for some reason this was the first polish from the collection I wanted to wear-- given how pretty it is in the bottle, that may not be a surprise.

Our Tips Are Tealed is an "emerald leaning teal with metallic foil flecks and glitter," as described by Michelle herself. The first coat was a little sheer, but two coats gave me good opaque coverage. The glitter in this polish makes the finish a little gritty, but a top coat takes care of that easily. This polish has a very luminous, lit-from-within quality to it. My pictures show it to be a little bit more green than in real life, but it's definitely teal. The natural light pictures are very close to the true color.

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My only issue with Our Tips Are Tealed is that it chipped (on me) fairly rapidly. Now, part of that may have been my base coat/top coat combination (I was using Essie treatments) and also perhaps due to all the hormonal changes happening in my body but I'm just throwing that out there. Generally, I don't expect my manicures too last too long anyway as I change my nail polish fairly regularly and I am pretty rough on my hands, but this time my manicure did seem to chip slightly faster than "normal" for me. However, I wouldn't necessarily blame it on the polish, for reasons I have mentioned above.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Football Friday: Idaho State Edition

Time for another Football Friday post! Last week was an away game and we won, which was awesome! The Huskies actually moved up in the polls and this week we face an FCS opponent in the Idaho State Bengals (seriously... tigers in Idaho?). This should be an easy win for the Dawgs, though every FBS fan knows that it's a mistake to overlook an FCS opponent-- just ask Michigan, Oregon State or Kansas State. Sadly, I won't be attending the game tomorrow, just for the sake of not overtaxing myself. I love football games, but they are not super relaxing to attend and so I will stay home on the couch. Given that the weather calls for rain, this is not entirely a bad thing. I'll miss the atmosphere, of course, by I'm sure my body (especially my puffy feet) will thank me,

For this week, given the opponent and the fact that I'm not going I decided to go fairly simple with my manicure this week. I picked out Julep Reece, an add-on polish from my September Maven Box. Reece is a scattered purple holographic polish-- that also happens to be a duochrome! Depending on the light, Reece can shift from purple to a greenish grey. But straight on it's a gorgeous metallic purple with some holographic sparkle. Slightly low key with just the right amount of flare-- basically what we need at our game tomorrow.

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I'll probably do a full review of this polish at a later day, but I loved the surprise duochrome and the holographic qualities.

Go Dawgs! Beat the Bengals!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Essence Grey-t To Be Here

Tonight I have a "new to the blog" brand to share with you, even though this isn't a new brand at all. Essence is a European cosmetics brand and from what I can tell, seem kind of like the European version of Wet n Wild-- aimed towards a slightly younger crowd, extremely affordable and is commonly found in drug stores/pharmacies. I was recently at my local Fred Meyer at they were having a buy 1, get one half off sale on Essence products, so I picked up two nail polishes to play with. The first one I have for you is Grey-t To Be Here, which is a medium grey polish with a pink shimmer.

I found the formula of Grey-t To Be Here to be a little on the sheer side-- there was still some visible nail line after two coats. Two coats did give pretty good coverage, but I used three to be thorough. The grey color gets a little deeper the more coats you use. The pink, while definitely apparent in the bottle and on the nail, does want to disappear in certain lighting conditions-- though for the most part you can see the shimmer. 

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I think the pink shimmer in the grey is a nice contrast and I don't think I have another polish like this in my stash. I like that Essence polishes are very affordable (retailing for $1.99) and while they don't have a ton of colors, tend to have ones that are on trend. The formula was good and I like that the brush is bigger (despite the small bottles), which is great for my large nail beds.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Football Friday: Chicago Deep Dish Edition

Hey all! After a break last week due to an early bye, I'm back this week with another Football Friday look! The Huskies are in Chicago to play the Fighting Illini of Illinois. These two teams have actually met 9 times, which blows my mind, but the most recent match-up was in 1972, so it's been awhile. Originally my husband and I thought we would go to this game, but obviously things have changed and traveling is not really an option right now. So we'll watch the game on TV, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Road games are always frustrating to watch and the Huskies tend to struggle when they travel. Illinois hasn't been a great team over the last few years, but they seem to be on a hot streak right, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. I am trying to temper my optimism so I'm not disappointed, though obviously I hope the Dawgs run away with the score.

Since we've also got a couple of other engagements tomorrow in addition to football, I have a great purple ombre maternity dress that I plan on wearing and still be spirited.  My Target maternity dress (the colors are off as the top isn't nearly as bright in person) looks like this:

So I decide to recreate my dress as my manicure! First I grabbed Cult Nails Vicious as my base, which is a warm deep purple. Then I decided to sponge on Julep Padma, a shimmery dark purple on the tips of nails to recreate the deeper purple bottom of the dress. Add  top coat and viola!

Note: sorry about all the bubbling on my ring finger-- my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat is obviously on its last legs, ugh. So annoying!

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Sorry for the short post tonight-- it's been a busy week and I didn't have a lot of time (and I started this too late). I like this manicure, but I need to work on my sponging as I'm never really happy with the way it turns out. 

Go Dawgs! Beat the Illini!

Update: I was much happier with the actual gameday manicure I did than the one I did for the blog. My nails are a bit shorter and the sponging is a bit more subtle, but I was really happy with how it turned out. I had a hard time capturing it, so all my pictures have flash (you will see the reflection in my nails) but I just want to share a few more pictures! The clean-up isn't perfect, but I was much happier with this manicure in general.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Julep Kai

Tonight I have another textured polish to share with you, this time from Julep. This is Julep Kai, described as a "baby blue sea salt" polish-- sea salt being Julep's term for textured polish. I bought this during a Julep sale, and I don't think it's been offered in a Maven box or as an add-on. In fact, I didn't even know this polish existed, except when I was browsing the sale. What's really cool about Kai is there is a darker blue sparkle to this polish as well, which helps create the textured effect.

I found that Kai was a little streaky and uneven, and I needed three coats to get the coverage you see in my photos. I thought the texture was a little uneven, but it's difficult to tell. I actually think it was ok, but have a hard time discerning that from my pictures (or quite honestly, even looking at my nail). The texture of this polish seems much finer than some of the other textured polishes I have, but that may be due to the fact that there's no glitter in this polish.

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I would definitely recommend wearing a base coat with this polish (I didn't for swatching it) and it wanted to stain my nails, even after wearing it for a short time. This is a decent polish, but I'm glad I paid the sale price and not full price for it because I'm not totally in love with it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Clinique Indie Rock

Tonight I have my other Clinique polish to share with you, Indie Rock. I would describe Indie Rock as a "smokey purple metallic", but certainly has some brown and grey tones to it, almost making is a purple metallic taupe. The formula was excellent and went on very smoothly-- I used two coats here. Because it's a metallic polish, you do have to be careful of brush strokes and overloading your brush with pigment, but I found that I didn't have problems applying it-- and I sometimes feel like these metallic polishes are my downfall. Indie Rock doesn't dry to a very shiny finish on its own, so you definitely need a top coat to give it a nice shine.

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This polish definitely says "autumn" to me. I love the smokey quality and think this will fit in perfectly with the darker colors and heavier fabrics of the autumnal season. This is a pretty color and I don't think I have very many like it in my stash. Hopefully I'll have time to reach for it this fall in between dealing with the babies!