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Monthly Archives: September 2013

September Giganta-haul

Yep, giganta-haul! It’s a word now 🙂 So I have bought way too many polishes this month… Many haven’t even arrived yet. I also made my first ever trip to Ulta which resulted in a $107 tab. Looking back on it, I spent WAY too much money there. That place is so expensive! I should have just ordered the polishes I got from their actual companies or Amazon or something… But they were right in front of me and so gorgeous that I couldn’t help myself (like the addict I am, I know…).

I’m breaking them down into lots of photos. Some of them have multiple photos to better show the actual polish (since they’re, you know, so freakin’ gorgeous!).

First up we have the Deborah Lippmanns. I’ve obviously seen this polish in various blogs for a long time now and had even browsed their store online. I shied away from ordering any due to the price but after seeing so many gorgeous swatches and reading so many great reviews, I finally broke down when I saw so many pretty DLs in front of me at Ulta! I bought two 15ml bottles. 

When I went to checkout the girl behind the counter slipped three free mini Deborah Lippmans in my bag too! She was so nice and began a conversation that eventually lead to her asking about the polish I was wearing at the time (my own, Sweet Sixteen). She flattered me by saying it was awesome looking and she would visit the shop. I’m doubting she ever ended up visiting it but I was still happy nonetheless!

ANYWAY… I’m getting off track… The three minis are all magnetic polishes that came with a wave-producing magnet. Now, I’ve never tried any of the magnetic polishes before because I never much cared for them but I tried Magic Man out on a nail and was amazed! It was absolutely gorgeous and the whole magnet deal was really cool too (I know, I’m late to that party).

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L to R: Glitter in the Air, Magic Man, Punk Princess, Hard Knock Life, Fake It Til You Make It

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The little freebie box the clerk gave me!

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L to R: Tomoko, Rikki, Sailor, Hazel, Solange

Now onto the Zoya polishes… Yet another brand I have seen all over but never tried. Of course all the amazing reviews were true to their word because they are GORGEOUS!

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(Click to enlarge so you can really see the polishes up close!)

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L to R: Get Your NumberIt’s All San Andreas’s Fault

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L to R: After Party, Material Girl

(Sorry about the weird angle but my reflection was super distracting.)

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L to R: Wallis, Gobsmacked, Chancer

I actually got the BL polishes earlier this month but they’re still included in my September haul because I haven’t posted about them yet… Obviously I also got some other polishes like the two Pretty Jelly polishes but I never mentioned the BL polishes so they’ll go here 🙂

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L to R: Purple Glam, Orange Gleam

Okay, so I was at the pharmacy picking up a prescription and saw this makeup stand for a brand I’d never seen before called Jordana. Honestly, my expectations weren’t high but the $1.50 price tag on both the polishes meant I couldn’t refuse, haha. I got the two glitter polishes of the bunch and “reluctantly” tried them for the blog. I was floored when they ended up being AMAZING! Both are gorgeous and apply really well. I will definitely do a full review in the future for this brand because it really deserves one.

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Seventy-Five

Here’s yet another brand I had never seen before. I got this one during my Ulta haul. It’s obviously a pretty vampy fall-type color and from what I can see it looks nice.

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Mistletoe

And last but not least, a bottle of Revlon. Honestly, I haven’t been buying much Revlon polish in the past six or so months because I own so many of them already (I think about 30 now!) and already have the ones I like. However, while I was at Ulta I saw one I hadn’t seen before and given the fact that Revlon is tried and true I had to have it.

Welp, that’s it! I am expecting a few bottles of indie polishes over the next few days and I’ll post about them too. Have a lovely week!

Swatches for House of Usher by Pretty Jelly

This post is purely comprised of swatches for House of Usher by Pretty Jelly. All photos were taken with indirect natural lighting (no lamps, just cloud-covered sunlight). I’m not doing a review for this polish but will say it’s absolutely GORGEOUS! Liz (the creator of Pretty Jelly polishes) really does take great care in creating high quality products. Without further ado… I present to you House of Usher!

Remember to click any photos you want to see enlarged. The bigger the photo, the clearer the polish! 

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A bit of an aside: It has been my experience that some indie polish sellers are more or less “half-assing it” when it comes to measuring, mixing, and showcasing their products. It’s not necessarily because they don’t care but rather because of possible inexperience. I try to give the benefit of the doubt when trying out a somewhat low quality indie polish and assume they might be new to hand mixing polish.

However, there are also sellers out there who are just plain lacking when it comes to passion for their craft. It’s obvious when their product ends up shoddy or lacking in some way. (And by “shoddy” I mean their polishes are often too runny or thick, have too little or too much of certain ingredients, they aren’t mixed well, the quality of the various supplies are low end, the polishes aren’t creative, etc.) I am guessing a lot of them end up like this because they don’t want to spend the amount of time it takes to create truly wonderful polish (or maybe they just plain lack an artsy “eye” that’s required to truly excel in the indie polish world).

I mention all of this in order to truly show how special brands like Pretty Jelly are (as well as Mentality Polish, Spellbound Nails, etc.). They’re special because of their thoughtful creative process, attention to detail, good taste, and their ability to remain unique in a sea full of carbon copied products. It’s because of brands like these that indie polish has taken off as much as it is and it’s because of the owners so many are inspired to take up nail art as a meaningful hobby.

It might sound silly to say that indie polish is inspiring to many but that’s the honest truth. It speaks to a lot of people and often makes high quality polishes obtainable for the average nail aficionado (whereas before you would often have to spend time looking for certain brands in certain stores and cough up lots of money for specific trends). Now high quality polishes that are truly unique and even one-of-a-kind are just a few clicks away!

And it’s all because of people like the ones I just mentioned.

I didn’t mean for this post to get so long and serious but it all needed to be said. I mostly wanted to mention that the indie polish genre is something a lot of people do but only a few people do really well.

Sweet Sixteen by Vixen Polish

This post is basically just shameless self promotion and little else 😛 I just wanted to share some swatches of my newly “minted” glitter polish, Sweet Sixteen. As of today there are four available via Vixen Polish on etsy.com. Swatches and information are below. (Remember to click the photos to enlarge them!)

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(Indirect artificial light.)

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(Direct artificial light.)

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(With Seche Vite topcoat.)

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Sweet Sixteen is my first go at using mica pigments to genuinely create an entire bottle of polish from absolute scratch (whereas before I would often use specific pre-made pigments or even mixtures of other polishes via “frankening”).

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Sweet Sixteen is a very versatile polish as it can be used in three ways:

  1. Apply two to three coats of polish and then use a regular topcoat in order to smooth out any bits of texture.
  2. Apply two to three coats of polish and finish with a matte topcoat.
  3. Apply two to four coats of polish in order to achieve a textured look and do not use any topcoat.

Another thing? This is probably my favorite polish I’ve made thus far! I can’t say I’ve seen anything quite like it and I am thrilled with not only how well it applies but also how versatile it is. It’s also the first time I’ve made my own polish 100% from scratch, pigments and all.

Lastly, it’s a great “go-to” polish whenever you can’t pick something out (I have this problem A LOT–I just can’t choose which color I want to use because I have so many–and so I have “go-to” polishes like Maximillian Strasse-Her by Essie, Queen Vic by butter London, and Chic by Revlon.

What are some “go-to” polishes you use? And what do you think of Sweet Sixteen? Any critiques or recommendations are always welcome!

Swatches for London Bridge by Pretty Jelly

Pretty Jelly is an indie brand I came across on etsy.com the other week and after browsing the selection I ordered myself two bottles: London Bridge and House of Usher.

Both polishes are gorgeous, apply wonderfully, and are worth every penny paid. This isn’t a formal review of Pretty Jelly’s polishes but I still wanted to say the two I’ve tried are awesome and I will be ordering from PJ again in the near future.

Right now I only have photos of London Bridge but I should have a post on House of Usher soon. Definitely check out the links because her swatches are superior to mine and truly showcase how beautiful these polishes truly are! In the mean time I’ll continue trying my best to swatch away (and continually learn in the process…)!

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(Click on photos to enlarge.)

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(Try to ignore the redness. It was from a darker polish I had removed prior to applying London Bridge. Sometimes you just can’t remove every single bit when it comes to dark polish!)

So what do you think of London Bridge and Pretty Jelly polishes in general? Have you ever tried them before and if not, would you consider this indie brand in the future?

Mani Corner: Complete!

Well, since the dawn of my obsession I’ve struggled with where to keep all of this polish I keep accumulating. In the beginning it was tupperware and the it went to being displayed openly on a desk and then it was shoved into any empty drawers available. Fortunately I came across an ad on a yard sale page on FB for a $25 corner table with shelves and knew it was perfect for our tiny little bedroom. We already have a full bedroom set (sleigh bed, night stand, dresser, and then some piece of tall furniture I can’t think of the name for) so our small room seemed doomed when it came to having any real space for functional polish storage. For the past few months I’ve been spreading my things out on the floor and picking polishes out of drawers which was NOT working, especially when it comes to my back… There are only so many hours you can lean over on the floor, sit indian style, etc. while focusing intensely on minute details spread out before you. Not only that but the lighting sucked everywhere in our house except for the dining room table and hauling all of my things out there for a 10 minute manicure was just a pain the ass.

SO. I bring you the “mani corner”… Complete with a shoe rack at the bottom for extra polish stroage. It might be a bit ghetto but it works and quite honestly, it doesn’t even crowd our room!

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It’s located in the one corner of our room not taken up by any other furniture and it rests between the bed and a wall.

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It might seem tight or jumbled but I swear it’s not. I’m too OCD to allow that to happen anyway!

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The top of the desk contains all indie polishes as well as bottles of Vixen Polish and everything required to make it it.

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Here are just some of the indie polish supplies I use (glitters, scoops, etc.).

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Down below the shelves I keep some of my empty bottles, their tops, and then a container full of nail decorating items (Konad and Bundle Monster sets, nail jewels, tape, chevrons/french mani tapes, etc.). I also keep all of my base coats, top coats, and everything in between in this container.

So that’s it for now! I will continue tweaking it but I’m extremely happy with it so far. It’s not too shabby for a $25 desk and some old stuff I had lying around!

What do you think?

Spinning Again by Essie

Today I have tons of swatches of Spinning Again by Essie. I thought it looked like the perfect fall polish to break out now that the leaves are starting to fall and the temperatures are starting get crisp in the mornings. It’s not a new color for Essie but it’s certainly a good one. It’s sort of a brick red which is something you don’t see all that often in a lot of polish lines (at least I haven’t) and while I didn’t like it much at first it has really grown on me since I tried it out! Like all Essie polishes it applies smoothly and you can achieve the following effect in just two coats.

One more thing: Most of the photos were taken indoors using direct sunlight but the last three photos were taken with indirect sunlight (so indoors during the daytime but not in the path of a direct light source). The color of this polish obviously varies from one light source to another but it’s more brown than red when all is said and done!

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And the last photo is just for fun. I thought it looked kinda cool!

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(Remember to click to enlarge photos!)

Enjoy!

Tiffany Impostor + Matte Topcoat

Over a year ago I did a review post for Tiffany Impostor by Finger Paints. This single post has been responsible for more hits on my blog than any other entry. Apparently a lot of people search the term “Tiffany Impostor” on google.com and for some crazy reason my post is high enough in the search results that people actually click on it!

I mention all of this because it really shows how popular this polish is. It’s obvious why: It’s gorgeous, Finger Paints is a great brand, and in a sea full of “Tiffany” colors it somehow manages to be one of the best.

Given its consistency in being awesome no matter what season it is or what style is current, I usually end up wearing the stuff once every couple of months. This time, however, I decided to try something a little different. Instead of using a regular topcoat I decided to use Revlon’s matte topcoat. I was NOT disappointed!

I’m going to include two old swatches of Tiffany Impostor without the matte topcoat and then add the swatches that were done today with the matte.

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(Above photos are without matte topcoat.)

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I think I might like Tiffany Impostor even more with the matte topcoat! What do you think?