Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Collection in Swatches # 9: Blues, Part 1

Happy Wednesday Everyone! I hope you are all having a great week so far. We took a brief break from my collection swatches to talk about the Liebster Award, but today I am happy to be back to show you my blue polishes! Once again, I have a bunch of them so I am splitting them into two posts. All pictures will be shown with a basecoat of Nutra Nail Strengthener. Shall we get into it?

Let's start with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear #380 'Blizzard Blue'. True to its name, this is a bright, icy blue polish with really pretty shimmer. The formula is very sheer and so thin that it has a tendency to flood the cuticle if you aren't careful with application. I don't like having to apply a half dozen layers for opacity because besides being time consuming, it can alter the true color of the polish. So, on the pinkie I have 2 coats layered over a base of Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White'. The rest of my nails are pictured with 4 thin coats, no undie, and is still not fully opaque. I finished with a glossy topcoat on all nails.

Sally Hansen 'Blizzard Blue'

Sally Hansen 'Blizzard Blue'

Next up is #115 'Ocean Wave' from Kleancolor. A good look at the bottle shows a light blue polish with a ripple-like silver shimmer running through it. The effect on the nails is so much shimmer as to almost be metallic; I really love this polish! It has a great formula with nice smooth application. And it is a one-coater! It is pictured here with one coat and topcoat. 

Kleancolor 'Ocean Wave'

Kleancolor 'Ocean Wave'

For polish number three we're going back to Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear line with #130 'Blue Me Away!' To me this is the quintessential summer pool blue; you know, where you look at a pool and it is unnaturally, but beautifully blue? Yup, just like that :-) This is another one-coater with a beautiful formula and application. Pictures are with a topcoat of Out The Door by INM. 

Sally Hansen 'Blue Me Away!'

Sally Hansen 'Blue Me Away!'

NYC's #140 'Empire State Blue' is next. This is another sheer polish that is layer-able with patience, though that may alter the color a bit. Again, it may be best served by layering it over another polish, which I have done on the pinkie finger (2 coats over white); the other I used 4-5 thin coats and all have a topcoat. This polish is kinda funny. In the bottle and according to the name, you think you're getting a blue polish, but when you keep layering it over itself, it turns more teal then blue. You can see on the pinkir the more accurately represented blue color of this polish. 

NYC 'Empire State Blue'

NYC 'Empire State Blue'

Last but not least, one more Sally Hansen for you. From the Hard as Nails line comes #670 'Teal Steel'. Based on the name, you might think this should have been part of the teal swatches from last week, but like the last color, it only appears teal when layered over itself several times, which is needed unless you use an undie since this is another sheer polish. I swear, until I bought the SH 'Blue Me Away!', I was beginning to think all blue polishes were sheer, LOL. Pictured we have the pinkie with 2 coats over white and the rest with 4 thin coats which is still not fully opaque. All nails have been topped with INM's Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat. The pinkie is a truer representation of this color. 

Sally Hansen 'Teal Steel'

Sally Hansen 'Teal Steel'

That's all for part one, folks! Which polish is your favorite so far? Come back Friday for part two of my blue polishes! As always, thanks for reading and I'll see your around the blogosphere! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Liebster Award Nomination

Hello Lovely Readers! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was a little busy, but it had a nice ending: I found out I was nominated for Liebster Award! Much thanks goes to my little sister Mandie, from The Tasteful Texan for the nomination! So, let's learn a little more about the Liebster, shall we?

The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award 

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. 
3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
So, I suppose I should answer the questions that I was asked! This has the potential to be a lengthy post so I will try to keep it short and sweet for y'all. 
1. How Long Have You Been A Blogger?
I have been blogging since October of 2014, so almost 5 months. 
2. If You Could Chose One Post From Your Blog To Brag About, Which Would It Be? (feel free to link it)
I think I would choose Snow Day! because it was my first successful stamping manicure. 
3. What Is Your Favorite Season And Why?
Autumn! There are three reasons it is my favorite: the weather isn't too hot or too cold, that crisp, fresh scent of autumn air, and all the colors of fall with the changing leaves. 
4. What Influenced Your Decision To Start Blogging?
My brother and his wife lived with us for five years and my sister-in-love and I became very close. We shared a lot of the same interests. When they moved to a different city I had no one to talk to and blogging was my place to still share and talk about the things I love. 
5. What Is The First Thing You Think Of When You Wake Up In The Morning?
I'm supposed to think when I wake up???
6. Is The Glass Half-Empty Or Half-Full?
I think it depends on how many half-glasses I get handed, LOL. I tend to be a naturally optimistic person, but there comes a point, if I get bad luck upon bad luck, where the optimism wears out. 
7. Have You Ever Won A Trophy?
Yes, I got a 1st place trophy in a kids bowling tournament when I was 11 or 12. 
8. Do You Have A Favorite Food?
Yes, food! Seriously though I would say either Italian or shrimp
9. If You Could Have Any Job/Career, What Would You Choose?
Mystery writer!
10. Name Something You're Proud Of. Why?
My nephew! Number one, he's adorable! And also, I don't have my own kids to be proud of and show off, LOL
11. What Is Your Favorite Thing About Your Blog?
I like that it keeps me accountable about not biting my nails. Also I love that it is just a fun, hobby blog so I can have fun with it and with you lovely readers without taking myself too seriously :-)
*********************************************************************************                                        11 Random Facts About Me
1. I was a preemie, born 2 1/2 months early and weighing less than 4 pounds
2. The smell of mushrooms makes me nauseous
3. When I was 14, I had a bike accident and broke my jaw in three places. I have a metal plate in my jaw
4. My favorite subjects in school were English and History
5. I lived in Europe for 6 years; 3 in Frankfurt, Germany and 3 in London, England
6. I've been to 19 different countries, not counting the U.S.
7. The first time my husband asked me out I said no and we stayed "just friends" for 2 years before we started dating
8. I took piano lessons for almost 10 years and still enjoying playing when I can
9. I'm a HUGE Sci-Fi/Fantasy nerd!
10. I started cooking with my mom when I was 4. I love cooking, but only like to bake around the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays
11. I love animals and have a Border Collie mix right now named Rusty. I've also had cats, guinea pigs, and fish in the past. 
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me! Let's move on the questions I have for my Liebster Nominees and then we'll find out who they are!
1. How long have you been blogging?
2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
3. What would you be blogging about if it wasn't ______________________? (fill in the blank with topic of your blog)
4. What hobbies do you have beside the one that inspires your blog?
5. How many bottles of nail polish do you currently own?
6. Do you have any pets? If yes, what kind and what is/are the names?
7. What was the last book you read?
8. What polish is currently at the top of your Wish List?
9. What is on your nails right now?
10. What was the last music you listened to?
11. What was the last TV show you watched?
Now the moment you've been waiting for, LOL. My nominees for the Liebster Award are: 
1. Hayley from Polished At Heart
2. Tamara from Dancer's Polished Life
3. Shawna from Mom, Mrs., & Me
4. Sarah from Tunay Na Mahal
5. RoseLynn from Manicured & Marvelous
6. Anita from: Style Those Nails
7. An She from The Polished Hippy
8. Nichole from The Super Secret Nail Blog
9. TaShyra from Kool Klawz
10. Night Swatcher from Night Swatcher

Again, a big thank you to Mandie for the nomination! Now go spread the love, discover some new blogs, and nominate! I'll see you back here on Wednesday for the next color in my Collection in Swatches series! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Teal Stamping Mani

It's Friday! Y'all already know how I feel about Fridays, so we'll skip that joyful rambling today, LOL. I did have at least one comment requesting a nail art today so that is what we are doing. I decided to go with a simple stamping mani using the Sinful Colors 'Rise and Shine' and the 'Punk Rock' from Sally Hansen.

As always I began with my favorite basecoat, Nutra Nail Strengthener, and then used 2 coats of the Rise and Shine on all my nails. I chose images from 2 different Bundle Monster plates from their 2010 series. These are the revised 2010, by the way and I really love them. I don't have much experience stamping...yet. These were the first plates I got and I've only used them 2 or 3 times, and never for a full image stamp before so I decided to challenge myself a little. I used plates 022 and 001.

I stamped the swirling full nail image from plate 022 with the 'Punk Rock' on all my fingers except my ring finger, which I chose to use as an accent nail. On the ring finger, I used the Konad special white stamping polish and plate 001 for a small, leaf like pattern. I also added a small triangular matte black rhinestone which I got from Born Pretty Store.

It's not perfect, but I think it is an improvement on my previous stamping! The bottom two photos I used the flash to really show off the color contrast.

So, what do y'all think? I hope you enjoyed this simple mani and I'll see you on Monday! Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Collection in Swatches # 8: Teals, Part 2

I can't believe it is Wednesday already! I don't know about y'all, but this week is just flying by for me. I've got four more polishes for y'all today, the last of my teal collection. As always, I started with my favorite basecoat of Nutra Nail Strengthener. So, let's get started.

The first polish today is from Sinful Colors # 940 'Rise and Shine'. The formula is nice and thin, though not too thin and it is fully opaque in two coats. It is another polish from Sinful Colors that is almost a creme, but finishes with a nice subtle shimmer. It is pictured here with 2 coats and a top coat. (This is almost identical to the Sally Hansen Jazzy Jade so if you have one of them, you probably don't need the other, but since when do we buy polish based on what we need, LOL!)

Sinful Colors Rise and Shine

Sinful Color Rise and Shine

Polish # 2 is Petites #512 'Fiji'. Now, I hope y'all will understand and that this doesn't sound silly, but I only swatched this on one finger. This was the first teal polish in my collection, before I even HAD a collection. It's been too long ago for me to remember where I got it, it is a mini, and it is running out :-(. So, I use it very sparingly and lovingly now and didn't want to use a bunch of it up on swatching! I didn't want to leave it out though because it is one of my favorite polishes ever. It is a gorgeous deep teal with fantastic shimmer. The picture is one coat with no topcoat; I wanted the full natural effect of the polish to shine through. 

Petites Fiji

Petites Fiji

Next up is # 660 'Punk Rock' from Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails line. This is a deep, vampy teal with lots of shimmer again. However, the formula and application are not quite as perfect as most of the rest of the Hard as Nails polishes. This goes on quite sheer and it take 4-5 'normal' coats to build to opacity. The color payoff is worth it though in my opinion. It is pictured here with 3 thick coats and no topcoat. 

Sally Hansen Punk Rock

Sally Hansen Punk Rock
Sorry this one came out looking a little green, but it person it is a very deep, pretty teal, NOT green, I promise!

Last is #1181 'Calypso' from Sinful Colors. The formula is a little bit on the thick side for the brand, but not too thick. The color is very dark teal, almost black in some lights and my camera had a hard time picking up the color. I have it pictured here with 1 coat and topcoat and with the bottle shots. I couldn't quite capture the color on its own. However, you can look back on this previous post to see this polish used in a manicure. Perhaps that will show the color a bit better. 

Sinful Colors Calypso

Sinful Colors Calypso

And that completes the teals! On Friday we will have a nail art featuring one or more of the teal polishes shown this week. And I have a question for y'all. Still waiting patiently on my rack to be swatched are my reds, burgundys, pinks, blues, blacks, whites/neutrals, glitter toppers, and a category I call 'specials'. I'm saving the pinks for Valentines week, but among the others, what do you want to see next week? If I get enough votes for a specific color group I will do it next week! Thanks for reading, everyone! See you on Friday! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Collection in Swatches # 7: Teals, Part 1

Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to great start :-) Today we are moving on to the next color in my collection, teal! (which is also called turquoise.) Can you guess what I'm going to say next? You're right, it is one of my favorite colors for nail polish, LOL.

Right now, let's get into these teal polishes, shall we? I applied basecoat with every swatch and I'll let you know about the topcoat as we go. I only have 3 for you today because I didn't have as much time to swatch as normal. I was assembling furniture for my new office so I can have separate space for office and nail art, which is also exciting!

Sinful Colors Mint Apple, Sally Hansen Jazzy Jade, Sally Hansen Marine Scene

First up today is Sinful Colors # 947 'Mint Apple'. This soft pastel mint polish is fully opaque in 2 coats, has a great formula with easy application and finishes with a nice, subtle shimmer. I'm not convinced that this is a great color for my skin tone, so I usually use it only for nail art instead of letting it stand alone. But if I do wear it by itself, then I prefer it matte. The first picture below is with 2 coats and a glossy top coat. The second picture I just added a coat of Sally Hansen's 'Big Matte Top Coat'.
Sinful Colors Mint Apple

Sinful Colors Mint Apple with a matte topcoat

Next is Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear # 280 'Jazzy Jade'. One of the things I love about teals in general is how much variation there can be in the same color family. This is a very green leaning teal also with a subtle shimmer finish. The formula is nice and thin, and is perfectly opaque in 2 coats. It is pictured with a glossy topcoat.
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Jazzy Jade

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Jazzy Jade

Last for today is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear # 280 'Marine Scene; Another green-leaning teal, but still very different from the last one. The application is nice, though the formula is a little sheer, however it layers well and can be built to opacity in three coats, as pictured below. Unlike the subtle shimmer of the last 2, this polish is chock full of gorgeous shimmery-ness! Also, I did not topcoat this one since I wanted you to feel the natural shimmer effect in full force, LOL!

Before I say goodbye, I have one bit of news and one question for y'all. First, I just bought some China Glaze polish from a lady on Facebook who was selling them in sets of brand new polishes. I got 20 BRAND NEW China Glaze for $50! I'm so excited! She had about 17 or so sets for sale with 9-10 polishes each and I liked them so much I couldn't pick so I told her my top six choices and to surprise me, LOL. Since I don't know what exactly I'm getting or where they will fit into my collection swatching I will probably do separate posts for my newbies. Second, did you guys like seeing a nail art featuring one or more of the polishes swatched that week? Would you like me to do it again, or just move on to the next color family? Let me know, okay?

Which of these did you like best? Anything you're hoping to see in Part 2? Thanks for reading and I'll see you on Wednesday! 

*NOTE* - I know that both SH colors say #280. That is because when SH did their reformulation, the Jazzy Jade replaced the Marine Scene. Marine Scene has been discontinued, I'm very, very sad to say :-(

Friday, January 16, 2015

Faux Purple Camo

First everybody take a big sigh of relief because it's Friday! Yay! This post is going to be short and sweet after all my picture heavy swatch posts lately. By the way, I hope you're not tired of them because there are lots more coming next week :-)

I already knew that I wanted to do the nail art I promised featuring colors from the purple swatches of my polish collection. But I also know that by Friday, I usually want to hide from the least for the weekend and recharge my batteries. So, in honor of 'hiding' what I have for you today is faux camo nails. I apologize in advance about the pictures. My camera is on the fritz so I had to use my cellphone and it just isn't as good so I also 'borrowed' swatch pics from the other posts :-(

For this design I started with a basecoat and a single coat of the Sinful Colors 'Enchanted' on each nail.
Then I used a fan brush and added Kleancolor 'Pastel Purple' to each nail except the ring finger, making sure not to cover up all of the darker purple. On top of that, I did the same thing with the Sally Hansen Pep-Plum.

Finally I went over it one more time with the Enchanted on the fan brush, but just enough so the color was still visible. Then I sealed it all off with a generous coat of Seche Vite. I added 2mm square silver studs in a line down my ring finger as an accent nail. I got the studs from the Born Pretty Store and this was the first chance I had to use them. I was really impressed with how long they stayed on just using top coat to stick them on and seal them in.

Here are more pictures of the finished look.

Let's pretend you can't see the awful gash on the index finger. I just didn't have time to redo this mani :-(

It doesn't have the pools or blobs of traditional camo, but I felt like the way the colors blended together gave it the camo-esque look that I was going for. What do you think? Were you reminded of camo or something else? That's all for now! Now I'm going to go hide for the weekend, LOL. See you Monday! :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Collection in Swatches # 6: Purples, Part 2!

It's Wednesday! Which means it time to reveal the second half of my purple polishes, yay! You guys have been waiting patiently so let's save the chit chat for the end and just get into this, okay? Just so you know, all polishes will be shown with a basecoat of Nutra Nail Strengthener and Seche Vite Topcoat.

purple polishes part of a collecction

The first polish today is from Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear line, # 230 'Pep-Plum'. The formula is great, application was very smooth and even. The picture is 2 coats. In the last picture I have a side by side comparison of this polish and the Posh Plum from Monday's post. If you remember I said they are very similar in color, Posh had a subtle shimmer finish and this one a flat, glossy finish.
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 230 Pep-Plum

Polish number two is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails # 770 'Rock Bottom'. Now as a rule, I love the formula on SH's Hard as Nails line. Although it is their least expensive polish (usually sells for $1.99) all but 2 of this line in my collection are flawless in application. This, is not one of them. This polish makes you work for a smooth, even application. However, the deep royal purple color with a gorgeous shimmer finish is, in my opinion, worth the extra effort. It is pictured here with 2 coats.                        . 

Sally Hansen Hard As Nail #770 Rock Bottom

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Nail Polish 'Rock Bottom'

Next up is #978 from Sinful Colors, 'Amethyst'. This is what I would call a perfect grape purple. The formula was thin and even, great application and perfect opacity in one coat. 

Sinful Colors Amethyst
           You can see it darkens a bit depending on the lighting
Sinful Colors 'Amethyst'

Last but not least is # 1183 'Enchanted', also from Sinful Colors. This is a deep, rich, dark purple and I must admit, I'm in love. The formula is a little on the thin side, but that didn't stop it from being perfectly opaque in one coat. Also, that thinness which is characteristic of Sinful Colors is what drew me to the brand in the first place, since it makes them excellent candidates for use in water marbling. 
Sinful Colors Enchanted

Sinful Colors Nail Polish 'Enchanted'

That's it, my purple swatches are complete! Which was your favorite from today? Have a favorite you'd like to recommend? Talk to me in the comments! And don't forget that Friday I will feature a nail art using at least 3 of the colors swatched today and Monday! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time!