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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pretty & Polished Sugar in a Sundress

Hey all! It's Hump Day, so how about a little glitter to liven things up! Today I have my first Pretty & Polished nail polish to share with you, Sugar in a Sundress. This is a polish from their Country Girl Swag collection and was released last spring. I picked this up during a sale-- I think for for Daylight Savings when there was a 50% off promotion! Hard to resist those, haha. I had actually eyed this glitter for a while because I am a sucker for anything blue and I love the blue/yellow combination. Sugar in a Sundress is a pale yellow crelly with bright blue and indigo glitters.

Sugar in a Sundress had a good formula, and was pretty easy to apply. The glitters came out easily on the brush and were easy to place on the nail. I am pretty sure I used two coats here, but it might have been three. It does need a top coat, as most glitters do, to make it shiny, but I was impressed at how nicely it went on, especially with the light color base.

Artificial light (flash):

I'm not in love with these photos, but you can at least see the glitters nicely! This was my first experience with Pretty & Polished and I have to say that I'm happy. Sugar in a Sundress is a fun glitter and I am a sucker for this color combo. This applied nicely and looks great. I am a big fan! I have another couple of polishes from Pretty & Polished and I look forward to using them!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Illamasqua Marquise

Sorry for the lapse in posting-- we traveled out of town last week to visit family and celebrate our birthdays. That was just exhausting so I didn't get anything written up for Friday or today. Oh well. That's life, right? Today we're back with a "Texture Tuesday" post from my new favorite brand: Illamasqua! Today I have Marquise, which is what Illamasqua calls a "shattered star finish" aka a sparkly, glittery texture-- very similar to the original Zoya Pixie Dusts. I would call Marquise a coral orange with a strong gold sparkle.

Marquise has an absolutely fantastic formula and is practically a one coat wonder. I used two coats, of course, to make sure I had complete coverage! The formula was smooth and not too thick and was easy to apply, no issues at all. Like most textures, Marquise dried down quickly. And even better, it was super easy to remove! 

Artificial light (flash):

I am in.freaking.LOVE!! with this polish. It was perfect in every way! Illamasqua has very quickly worked their way up to being one of my favorite brands. I will definitely be bring you more Illamasqua polishes in the future and looking for more opportunities to snatch them up. (Please Hautelook, have another sale!) Happy Tuesday all!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

KB Shimmer Big Tan on Campus

Summertime means sunshine and sunshine means... holo polish!! Today I have KB Shimmer Big Tan on Campus, which is from last year's Early Summer collection. I snagged this one while it was on sale and took these photos awhile ago (since February, yikes), but predictably the pictures have been sitting around, forgotten until recently. Which is not a terrible problem to have, but it does sometimes mean that things don't get on the blog in a timely fashion! Anyway... Big Tan on Campus is a bronze/tan base with a nice linear holographic finish.

This isn't the first KB Shimmer polish I have used, but every polish I have used so far has been wonderful and Big Tan on Campus was no exception. This was exceptionally easy to use and went on smoothly in two coats. The holographic finish is strong but not overwhelming. At first I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like this, but I really liked it on my nails! I think this could make a good pedicure for the summer.

Artificial light (flash):

Unfortunately, Big Tan on Campus is discontinued, but KB Shimmer has a ton of other really awesome polishes available and I would highly encourage you to try some of her polishes if you haven't already!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cirque Colors Dear Dahlia

Today I have my first Cirque Colors to share with you today! I have Dear Dahlia, which was originally released in a trio called the Kontiki Collection (which was limited edition) and then more recently it was re-released as part of a Nike Pop-In Collection at Nordstrom, which was also limited edition. Dear Dahlia is described as a "fuchsia jelly with multi-dimensional shimmer." The shimmer picks up as predominantly green.

Dear Dahlia has a jelly formula and is definitely a little on the thick side, but not unmanageably so. I used three coats here and my camera picks up some visible nail line, but it's not as noticeable in real life. This does has have a really nice squishy quality to it. I only had one major issue with this: there were some weird black spots that showed up on my nails when I painted. Not a lot of them, but I'm not sure it was some unmixed pigment or some other contamination. It wasn't too bad, but I was a little disappointed because this brand has a very high-end vibe and it was a little disappointed that this happened with my first experience.

Artificial light (flash):

My photographs aren't spectacular but you can really see the green shimmer is. It's so gorgeous!  All I wanted to do was stare at my nails. Dear Dahlia is a perfect summer color!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Two-fer Tuesday: Nerdlacquers!

Veering off from my typical polish posts, today I am bringing you some fun glitters! I have two Nerdlacquers to share with you. I would consider Nerdlacquer to be one of the original indie polish makers-- she was definitely creating some very unique polishes before there was the large explosion of makers and indie polish became a more mainstream thing. After a long absence, she returned to the nail polish world, but still has fairly sporadic restocks, though when I have bought polishes from the store they have arrived in a timely manner and I haven't had issues. I picked up these two polishes in a random restock and finally decided to swatch them. (I have all the Star Wars polishes as well, but am saving those for December-- The Force Awakens, omgyay!)

Crunchy Frog, inspired by Monty Python, is described as a "rich Swiss chocolate brown, lightly killed, and delicately topped with the finest grass green, olive, and lime glitter. The sprinkling of silver white is the bones." I think the color combination is cool, and while this applied fairly easily, I had a lot of trouble getting any of the 'bones' aka the large silver glitters, onto the brush and so there aren't any on my nails. Wah wah. I used two coats here and a shiny top coat to smooth everything out.

Exterminate, inspired by the Daleks from Doctor Who, is described as a "deep blackened bronze with golden, blue, and black glitter." This is a really fantastic polish and applied like a dream-- I didn't have to do any fishing for the glitters. The black glitter in this case is micro glitter, which is not my favorite (at least in black, I feel like it looks random) but it worked here. I used two coats and a top coat here!

Crunchy Frog: 


Of these two, I think Exterminate was my favorite. I like the gold and blue in the brown base and it applied smoothly and I didn't have to try to fish for any glitters, like I did (and failed) with Crunchy Frog. But my bottle of Crunchy Frog is truly in desperate need of a good shake and I didn't have enough time. Maybe if I can get the glitter redistributed it would be easier! I also wished I had photographed these in natural light, because I feel like you would be able to see the glitters better-- maybe some day I will reswatch! I hope you enjoyed this post! I think these polishes are a lot of fun and they are definitely unique to my collection.

If you are interested in perusing what Nerdlacquer has to offer, polishes retail for $10 and are only available on her site. She restocks pretty sporadically, though there is a small selection of polishes currently available, including these two if they strike your fancy!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Zoya Tomoko

It's Monday and time for another Zoya Pixie Dust! Confession: for awhile I was getting Zoya Godiva and Tomoko confused. Which is not really fair of me, because they are definitely not the same. Tomoko was originally released as part of the Fall 2013 collection and is described as a "romantic champagne silver with a matte, textured, sparkling metal finish." This is pretty spot on. Tomoko definitely has a more sparkly, metallic look to it than Godiva, which is a more beige neutral.

As with the previous Pixie Dusts, Tomoko was easy to use. I think I used two coats here-- this was a little on the sheerer side just due to the nature of the lighter color, but two coats still gave good coverage. It dried quickly and wore really well, as these textures tend to. This one was a nice sparkly metallic, especially if you want to spice up a neutral look.

Artificial light (flash):

Another hit from the Pixie Dust line! It really is a bummer that Zoya decided to discontinue this line-- I hope that some day Zoya will revamp the line or bring it back.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rescue Beauty Bonne Journee

Today I have a polish from Rescue Beauty's latest collection, Je t'aime! Je t'aime! collection. I love France (have only been there once but would go back in a heartbeat!) so I was excited when this collection came out. The first polish I have from this collection is Bonne Journee, which means "good journey" in French. Bonne Journee is described as a "happy rose pink with blue undertones and a hint of copper." The description also says it has a "shimmery satin finish." What this translates to is metallic.

As a metallic, this type of polish is prone to brushstrokes, but the brushstrokes don't bother me as much as the formula did-- it seemed very thin to me, and was not helped by the narrow brushes these bottles feature. It was very sheer in the first coat (although I think this is pretty common with metallics) and I ended up having to use four to get the coverage I wanted, which was disappointing, because I think the color is gorgeous. 

Artificial light (flash):

I actually don't hate this-- usually brushstrokes are not my cup of tea, but this polish is extremely pretty. I just wish that the polish had been more pigmented because the color is gorgeous. It reminds me of this gorgeous photo a friend took in southern France-- bonne journee indeed!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Birthday Manicure!

I'm 32 today!! Yikes, how did that happen?! Hahaha! I still have trouble accepting I'm an adult sometimes. But here I am anyway! Luckily, I can say that my life is pretty good so really, aside from being another year older, I don't really have much to complain about. It'll probably be a pretty quiet birthday-- we're going out for dinner to our local brew pub and then we'll have a bigger celebration later on because my husband's birthday is in another 8 days! June is always a busy month around here.

For my birthday manicure, I went with something simple in my favorite colors: blue and gold! So I used two new to me polishes: Illamasqua Serenity and Zoya Maria Luisa. Serenity is a gorgeous medium blue with a rubber finish and Maria Luisa is a gold flakie topper. They were both easy to apply so this got thrown together fairly quickly, which is always a good thing these days!

Artificial light (flash):

It's not much, but it's fun! I really like the blue and gold combo and I'm excited to use Maria Luisa over some other polishes!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NOTD: My First Blobicure!

I have something fun today! My husband and I were invited to enjoy a Seattle Mariner's baseball game in a suite on Monday, and I knew immediately wanted to do a fun themed manicure! The Mariner's colors are navy blue and teal, and luckily I had the perfect polishes on hand to play with: MAC Monday Blues and Washeteria. As the name implies, Monday Blues is a deep navy blue and Washeteria is a gorgeous teal creme. Perfect! It's like it was meant to be!

This was the first time I did a blobicure, so I was worried about screwing it up--smearing the blobs together or that it would terrible. Luckily, this technique is super easy-- I think I went a little too conservative and should have actually added more blobs. I decided to mix things up by including an accent nail as well.

Artificial light (flash):

This was so much fun! I really like this technique and it was easy to do. Lazy nail art at its finest! I was really pleased with how this turned out and can't wait to try it again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Two-fer Tuesday: Sinful Colors Pinata Blast Glitters

I have something fun to share with you today! These are two polishes from Sinful Colors from the Fierce Fiesta display: Baila Baila and Mamacita.There were actually three of these glitters, but the third one had bar glitter so I passed on that one. This is actually only part of the Sinful Colors Summer collection; if you are interested in what else is being offered, I would check out Nouveau Cheap and her post on the collection. Both of these polishes are glitter toppers and meant to be worn over a base color because they will never be opaque by themselves.

Baila Baila (bailar means to dance in Spanish, so baila baila would be "dance dance") is a mix of blue and coral hexes, with white and lime green micro glitter in a clear base. Here I dabbed one coat over Julep Marcella:

Mamacita (this name reminds me of the Straight No Chaser song Donde Esta Santa Claus?) is a mix of blue, red and pink hex glitters with white mirco glitter in a clear base. Here I have dabbed one coat of Mamacita over Julep Brandis:

These are fun! Easy to apply and a nice mix of springy colors. And the price tag is great too! If you like glitter toppers, I would defintiely recommend searching these. I especially think Baila Baila has a unique color combination. The glitter base is a tad thick, but that seems pretty common, and it was pretty easy to get glitter on the brush and dab it around the nail. I tend not to play with glitter very often but I'm glad I snagged these two! Does anything from this collection strike your fancy?