Saturday, June 29, 2013

Patchwork Princess Manicure

Nail Art / NotD

   I'm sharing the manicure I just did today.  This is the result of getting an idea in my head and not being willing to let it go even when I got my first clue that it might not be the best idea with color I chose.  Ever have one of those stubborn moments?  I just did; at least it didn't turn out too badly.

   The idea for this manicure happened when I picked up Zoya Simone from my Mom's sales.  The pinkish hue held nuances of vintage, lady-like, and sophisticated.  Wouldn't it be neat to do a patchwork/quilt square manicure with this color and white?  Well, that was a nice idea until I started using Simone and realized that it really isn't a good color for nail art.  While two coats were good on a plastic swatch nail, it took three to get rid of VNL on my own nails.  The formula is a bit runny, as well.  Simone really doesn't get along with taping methods.  My poor middle finger looks sad because I had to use two coats of Simone on my white base, and I tried to be quick about pulling the striping tape up but it was gloopy anyway... blah.

   Oh well!  My other two colors were Zoya Purity and Pure Ice Silver Mercedes.  I tried two new techniques - a ruffle nail (thumb) and bubbles (index) - both dotting-tool designs.  The butterfly nail is done with stickers and my pinky is a cloud nail - super easy!  What about the other hand?  Well... I'm not sure what I'm doing with that yet.  Maybe just a solid color, to give myself a break.  ;P  What do you think?

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 2013 Hauls

   Wow, it's been awhile since I did a haul post!  After my very successful low-buy month of February I continued the trend right through the rest of spring.  Sleeping 90% of the time you aren't working really helps the wallet!  ;P  Alas, I did pick up a few things this month...

   In helping my Mom sell off extra polishes in her collection I ended up with more in mine... funny how that works.  This is what I picked up from her sale:

Left to Right:  Zoya Yasmeen, Caresse, Simone, Jasmine, and Sarah

Left to Right:  Zoya  Posh, Minka, Giselle, Scarlet, and Blossom

   These are some really pretty colors!  I still have several bottles available on my Blog Sale page, check it out if you have any Zoya colors on your wishlist!

   I also snagged a couple clearance Essie nail polishes, a basic red and a sheer french shade that has the prettiest microshimmer in it, which didn't show up in my picture.

Left to Right:  Essie Lollipop and Vanity Fairest

   I spotted this EcoTools brush set at Big Lots for only $4.50!  Considering it isn't discontinued and retails around $13 Online I was very happy with this score.  It is from their collaboration with Alicia Silverstone, who I could really care less about...  What can I say, I'm more interested in the item than the name on it!


   Still, it's a really nice little set.  I've been meaning to get myself an actual powder finishing brush, and this one is perfect!  The eyeshadow brush is something I'll use - I can never have too many brushes for all my powdered shadows.  And it's been a long while since I've had a good lash & brow comb in my collection.

   The cup is of course meant to hold your brushes, but I don't keep my brushes in a cup, and already have a cup at my make-up station.  So, I'll be using it to corral my new nail polish swatch sticks until I get them properly sorted out!  Isn't it cute like that?


   Swatch sticks were my other June investment.  I'm working on organizing my nail collection better, and these are the best way to do it as far as I can tell.  I bought the natural color for opaque colors and clear ones for sheer polishes and glitter toppers.

   Now that I have them I'm loving the "swatchsicles", and once I get more painted and sorted I'd like to do a post about them!  I took way too long in buying some of these!  How do you keep track of your colors?

   So, that was my hauling for June.  I also received a package from Influenster, and you'll be seeing more of those items soon!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Goals

   Summer wasn't a day late in my neighborhood.  June 21st was warm, sunny, and came with the realization that we have just three months until fall comes, and a brand-new household member arrives!  I'm due Sept 21st, the last day of summer.  So, I'd better get stuff done now!  Thus the inspiration for this post.  Oh sure, there is a crib to set up, a picnic table to paint, things like that.  But these goals are more things to work on summer-long, rather than a summer-day project.

In no particular order, I'd like to...

Have a Healthy Pregnancy (and Baby!)

   I've been blessed with an easy pregnancy so far.  Seriously: regular weight gain, no morning sickness, no absurd cravings, no wild mood swings or fluid retention, etc.  Mainly I've had to realize that I need to slow down a little bit.  I'm eating well, drinking plenty of water, and getting my rest.  Between that and starting off my pregnancy in good health (no habits I had to break) I seem to be in good (if rounder) shape.  But the closer I get to the end the more careful I'll have to be about knowing my limitations.

Establish a Better Nail Routine

   At the start of the year my poor cuticles about went to pieces because I wasn't moisturizing them properly.  The weather might have lost winter's dryness but they still need a boost overnight.  I found that my cotton bedtime gloves have an added benefit in the summer: by wearing them I can't scratch open mosquito bites in my sleep!

Use My Untrieds

   Nail polish, eyeshadow, mascara...  I've accumulated a bunch of pretty little things and still haven't gotten around to trying them all.  Rather than buying more new things, I'm focusing on working with what I have on hand this summer.  So far it's going well!

Write More Reviews

   I've got more potential blog content than I know what to do with, and products that I've been using and loving for over a year that I really want to share on my blog.  I'm hoping to use some of my "mama feet-up time" to get those reviews done.

Get Out

   And about.  My husband and I took a wonderful spring vacation, so no big trips are needed.  But I want to get my share of nature before I'm totally focused on a newborn.  I'm also hoping to go swimming regularly; that will be good for me!  Now is going to be the easiest time (for a long time) to get out and do my volunteer ministry work, so I'll be doing that as much as possible, too!

Take More Pictures

   Not only do I need to take more pictures of the times I spend with friends and family, but I need to share the good ones, too.  Print out actual physical copies to share or frame.  Make more little keepsakes that I can remember my second year of marriage by and show the kid "look, here is your Dad and I putting your crib together!"  ;P

   Those are just a handful of things I'm working on in the next few months.  What about you?  Any fun projects, or something that you're taking advantage of sunny weather to do?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Seven Summer Shades Giveaway! Win Mini Polishes!

   Hello everyone!  It's giveaway time again!  While going through my polish collection I realized that I had some brand new doubles of nail colors from L.A. Colors, and I'd like to share the wealth!  This colorful bunch will be perfect for warm-weather manicures, vacation take-alongs, and nail art.

   As always this is open to new and old followers of my blog and Instagram account, but with the close of some Google blog services (see here) you might have to update the way you follow Princessly Polished in order to enter!  I highly recommend Bloglovin', which you can use via a smartphone app or Online, and I've made that option earn extra entries!  Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!

The Prize:

   One winner will receive a set of 7 mini nail polishes by L.A. Colors.

The Rules:

   This giveaway is open to all followers living in the US (and US territories)!  International followers may enter if they have a US mailing address to send the prize to!  Please note:  With the close of GFC on the horizon, GFC is not an accepted way to follow PrincesslyPolished!  It won't be available by the time I'm selecting a winner!
   You should either be 18 years of age or older, or have the consent of your parents/guardians to enter.
   All entries are recorded using the Rafflecopter widget below, and falsified entries will be removed.
   The selected winner will be notified by E-mail and have 24 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen.
   Any questions or clarification needed, let me know!

Final Week of Google Reader & GFC!

   Ahh, the close of Google Reader and Google Friend Connect.  I don't know about you, but it crept up on me.  Fortunately we have one week left to make up our mind about how to keep up with our favorite blogs before these tools officially close on July 1st.  Let's take a look at some of the ways you can keep following Princessly Polished.

You could stick with Google...

   Apparently Google wants everyone to move to their Google+ service, essentially the new GFC on steroids.  I have a Google+ page where I post updates from Princessly Polished, and you can find that here.  Honestly, though, I don't think that Google+ is a very good way to manage your blog reading list, and I don't enjoy their layout much.  This is definitely more of a social service than anything convenient to reading blogs.

...use one of my FeedBurner services...
   This is another service owned by Google, but I haven't heard anything about it shutting down.  You can use FeedBurner to subscribe to my blog posts by E-mail.  This is handy if you don't want to make an account somewhere, but you will usually be getting "yesterday's news" with this option.

   You can also access my RSS feed and choose your own reader to follow my blog.  This is quite utilitarian.  Gets the job done, but not many bells and whistles.

...or try Bloglovin'!
   This is my new first choice in blog feed managers.  The site is well-established, easy to use, and you can find Princessly Polished there.  I already made the switch by importing all the blogs I followed in Google Reader, which is as easy as one click!  Bloglovin' has several options to customize the service to your own blog reading style, and it doesn't clutter up your life with extraneous social features.

   Another bonus to the Bloglovin' service is the ability to use the mobile app to keep up with blogs on the go.  It is available for Android and Apple devices, and free for both!  It is smooth and clutter-free just like the web version.  I've installed the app on my smartphone and am impressed by how well it works.

   Obviously there are many other blog readers out there.  These are just what I have had experience with.  If you're using something different and loving it please share in the comments below!  And if you were like me, using GFC to follow blogs, don't forget to switch how you've subscribed to Princessly Polished before July so you don't miss out on my future posts!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Horror Story: OrigiNails Bubble White 5-Minute Effervescent Nail Cleaner

Little packets of doom...  Stock photo from OrigiNails

   This story is late to be posted but I have to share it, because I'm finally done with the ordeal this product caused.  At the end of 2012 my nails were horribly stained.  I had worn an adorable bright yellow manicure for a full week, and when I removed it I found my nails to be stained not-adorable bright, you-didn't-drink-enough-water-today pee yellow.  Ick.  Never had they been stained so badly.  I love dark polishes, so I'm used to my nails getting a little bit stained, but these were so bad that I was willing to try something to get them pretty again.

   First off I had tried a basic treatment at home with whitening toothpaste.  When that didn't work I tried lemon juice and peroxide mixed in water.  It did help them very slightly, but my nails were still very, very yellow.  I looked into getting something specifically made for the job.

   So I went to Sally Beauty, because they carry OrigiNails Bubble White, and the product has rave reviews for getting your nails back to white.  At worse I had seen reviews where it didn't work for someone, or that it might take several applications if your nails were really bad off.  Obviously my nails were in the "really bad" category, so rather than buy one little packet for $2, I bought the tub for $10.  I was sure my nails would take a few treatments, and any extra I had could also be used in a foot bath.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  

   I went home very optimistic about the future of my gross nail beds, and tried it out the next time I removed my nail polish.  I followed the instructions to the letter, and soaked my nails for the 5 minutes suggested, then a little extra because to my dismay it hadn't done anything.  After 10 minutes it had at least managed to whiten the free edge of my nail, I think because it could penetrate from the top and bottom of my nails there.

   I will say that the product is easy to use, and fairly pleasant.  There is no strong smell, and it fizzes nicely.  It left a sort of slimy coating on my skin, probably from whatever moisturizer is released in the water.  I washed my hands afterward, but evidently not thoroughly enough.  The product has a warning that it may discolor fabrics; it does.  It bleached the hand towel I used.

   After Bubble White treatment the free edges of my nails were white, but my nail beds had barely been changed at all... other than in texture.  This is the really bad part.  After using Bubble White my nail beds were disintegrating!  I had bits of my nail peeling off in little strings.  And despite losing the top layer of my nail, they were still yellow.

   Maybe it's just a really bad idea to ever exceed the 5 minute mark on soaking in this solution, but the label has no warning about the possibility of damage to your nails.  No "test on one nail to see how it works for you, if it's okay do your whole hand".  No "do not soak longer than 5 minutes".  Other than basic poison control warnings there is nothing that indicates that your nails could have a bad reaction.  The ingredient list is short and doesn't sound scary.  I totally understand that results may vary, but I had never heard of Bubble White doing harm!

   Obviously I didn't touch my remaining Bubble White.  I was afraid to have it happen again, or get worse!  I accepted my ugly yellow nails and decided to let them grow out.  Unfortunately I had constant breaks during this period, no doubt due to my nails being weakened.  Here is a picture of them in February:

   They had grown just enough that I filed away all of what had been whitened, due to nail breaks mostly, but as you can see they kept on chipping at the corners anyway.  Also, check out that weird peely striping on my middle finger...  I've never seen anything like it before or since!  In March I had the weirdest nail break happen, all in the grown-out yellow portion of my nail.

   You can see how it not only broke in a very irregular way, but also peeled away some of the nail bed.  This break wasn't even caused by anything strenuous, and there was no damage (such as a crack) prior to it happening.  I just took the plastic lid off of a container and it shred apart.  Disheartening to say the least!

   I babied my nails, keeping a clear coat on them and taking my vitamins, and once the yellow (Bubble White treated) portion grew out, my crazy nail peeling and breakage stopped.  By May my nails were back to being healthy, long, and their natural color!

   In conclusion, I do not recommend OrigiNails Bubble White.  I know it works perfectly fine for a lot of people, but after what I went through I would never advise anyone to try it.  At least test one nail (your least favorite?) first before you do a whole hand!!  I wish I had known to do that.  Now I'd like to hear your opinion, too!  Have you tried Bubble White?  How did it go?  What is your favorite nail whitening treatment?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Design Glassware by Mont Bleu: Tweezers & Discount Code!

Beauty Tool Review
Photo credit: product page

   Today I'm talking about the tweezers I was sent for review from Design Glassware by Mont Bleu.  If you didn't see my previous post about their products, click here!  I'm loving those glass nail files!  I really wondered to myself "would the tweezers be as good"?  They look pretty, but what matters most with any beauty tool is functionality.

Eyebrow Tweezers - product page (about $20 USD)

   Design Glassware has many different types of tweezers embellished with crystals, the type I have being listed as "Black Simple II Pink".  They are stainless steel tweezers with a black silicon coating that gives them a very nice, slightly rubberized grip.  They also have two pink "buttons" for an even more comfortable grip, and are accented with matching pink Swarovski crystals.  They come in a slipcase so they won't get damaged while floating around in your purse or make-up bag, and a little rubber ring to keep them in a closed position.

   It isn't easy to photograph rhinestones, but I tried!  The items from Design Glassware look great, I know I keep saying it, but it's true!  Along with their looking good, I was happy to find that the tweezers work perfectly.  Anyone who has ever tried to pluck an eyebrow hair with cheap tweezers, and missed that hair again and again knows that low-grade tweezers are a complete waste of time.  I was able to pluck each hair on the first try with these, as well as invisible baby hairs that I didn't know were there.

   To me, these tweezers from Design Glassware are on-par with my Tweezerman brand tweezers, which have outstanding quality.  They are priced similarly, too.  I never had my "good tweezers" with me in my purse, though, because they are an ugly shade of glittery pink.  These ones are so much nicer to use in public!  Also, I haven't ever seen tweezers with the unique comfort buttons in their handle - it does make them easy to hold.

   So, if you're looking for a new pair of good tweezers, or are familiar with Tweezerman quality and want something similar, but sparkly! I recommend picking up a pair of these.  And here is something just for you: a coupon code for their website!  What will you buy?

Use the code: BLOG for 20% off your order!
   Disclaimer:  This product was sent to me free in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affected my opinion of it!  All thoughts in this post are my own.  See my full disclosure here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nail Polish Necklace Giveaway Winners!

   Congratulations to the two winners of my Nail Polish Necklace GiveawayLupita, who chose the lovely Flower necklace, and has a newer blog (with some really good nail art!) here.  And Erica, who chose the Heart necklace.  She recently changed her blog's name, and can now be found at The Polished Chic.  I hope they enjoy their necklaces!

   To everyone else, be on the lookout for some fun summer-themed giveaways that I have planned!  And have a great weekend.  =)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blog Sale Update! $4 Zoyas / Vintage Clearance

   This is a quick update to let you know that my Blog Sale page has been updated with lots of lovely Zoya polishes that I am selling for my Mom.  They are only $4.00 a bottle!  I've also marked all the "Vintage" nail polish down, as well as China Glaze colors and magnetic polishes.  Go check it out!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pure Ice: Over You and Scream

Swatch & Review / NotD

   Yesterday I wore this manicure as a way to use some of my untrieds.  These are two really nice polishes and I was happy with them, but I wasn't really feeling drawn to the color combo right now, so my nails are bare again today.

   Pure Ice Scream is a really nice blue-green creme polish, sort of a turquoise, teal, or dark aqua color.  It dries just a little bit darker than it looks in the bottle.  It is easy to work with and has really good coverage.  I used 1 coat on all my nails except my ring finger, which took 2.  I also let this dry without topcoat, so you can see it levels nicely and has decent shine.  The only issue I had with Scream was when applying the glitter on some of my nails.  I had to use a light touch or it would start to smear and create bald spots.

   Pure Ice Over You is one of their newer glitter releases, and I really love the colors.  I think I will like this better layered over a pale base color.  It is made up of micro and tiny lavender glitter, and had holographic aqua glitter in small hexes and short, stubby bars.  I really like the bar glitter, it reminds me of splashing water.  I only used 1 generous coat on my nails and was very happy with the coverage.  The glitters spread well and I imagine this could easily be layered up for full glitter-bomb effect nails.  I used topcoat to smooth my glitter nails, and didn't notice any texture after that.  Check out the macro shot below to see it better!

   These polishes impressed me for $2 finds, with good formulas to match their pretty colors.  After realizing how nice Scream was to work with I might have to give a few of their other new creme colors a chance.  So, this is my short and sweet post for today.  As always, thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2nd Chance Giveaway: Two Winners! Nail Polish Necklaces! Open Internationally!

   If you've been reading my blog since February you may recognize these two prizes.  When the original giveaway ended Rafflecopter chose non-responding entry after non-responding entry.  Being newly pregnant I didn't have the time to keep trying different entries right then, and before I knew it HelloCotton had shut down, making several entries void.  I could no longer see sifting through those old entries.  It pains me to have not been able to complete the original giveaway, but I feel this is the best way to find winners for these prizes.  This giveaway is shorter-running, and I added extra entries for anyone who participated in the first giveaway.

The Prizes:

   Heart-shaped Pastel Rainbow Necklace - This has a soft rainbow sparkle as well as being painted in rainbow stripes!

    Flower-shape Hawaiian Dream Necklace - This is full of shimmer and glitter held a fun flower pendant, very unique!

The Rules:

   This giveaway is open to all my followers, new and old!  International followers are welcome but please be aware that I'm not responsible for missing or damaged packages.
   You should either be 18 years of age or older, or have the consent of your parents/guardians to enter.
   All entries are recorded using the Rafflecopter widget below, and falsified entries will be removed.
   The selected winner will be notified by E-mail and have 24 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen.
   Any questions or clarification needed, let me know!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 3, 2013

"I'm a Mama!" Manicure with Lush Lacquer: Glitter Girl

Special Announcement / Nail Art

   That's right, I'm pregnant!  And what better way to announce it on my blog than with a special manicure?  Polish details first for those who came for the swatches, pregnancy details after for those who care.

   I love-love-love this manicure!  I wanted something that was a combination of girly, classy, feminine and fresh, and that is exactly what I got!  I started out with 1 coat of Zoya Scarlet, a sheer color that matches my nailbeds.  Then I carefully dabbed Lush Lacquer Glitter Girl on so that the free edge of my nail was left bare.  The lace design came from a sheet of nail stickers that I cut to size.

   The nail stickers are not quite as wide as my nails, and the reason for this is that if the stickers go right to the edge they won't be properly sealed in by top coat!  The shortage on my thumb was a bit too noticeable so I layered on a butterfly nail sticker for an accent.  In order to seal everything smoothly I used 2 coats of my Poshe fast-drying top coat.

   Glitter Girl is a really great polish and worked perfectly in this style.  I only used one coat, and I didn't get every type of glitter that I saw in the bottle (no purple squares), but that is okay with me.  I really like the mix of matte black, white, and pink hexes and tiny sparkling purples and pink.  The free edges of my nails get to peek out in their natural state, so tip wear on this manicure should be super easy to hide...

   Back to my special announcement:  I'm pregnant!  I've been holding out on posting anything Online even though my husband and I knew right away.  Fuzzy ultrasound evidence reveals that we are having one little girl.  (Did you already guess that from the Glitter Girl polish used in my manicure?)  My due date is Sept 21st, so we'll be having a very-end-of-summer baby or, if she stays in for a little extra cooking time, an early autumn baby.

   So far the pregnancy has been going really well and my biggest complaint is fatigue and general achiness.  In fact, that is the reason for my blog going unattended early this year.  The first trimester hit me like a ton of bricks and all I did was work, sleep, eat, sleep and sleep.  That is no exaggeration - just ask my husband!  I probably wouldn't have made it through if he hadn't been there to take such good care of me.

   I don't plan to turn Princessly Polished into a "mommy blog".  I guess I technically am a mommy blogger no matter what I write about now, but the main focus here will continue to be nails, beauty and personal style.  Expect a few maternity-themed posts in the future, but someone please slap me if I start posting about dream nursery setups, okay?  ;)  As always thanks for reading, enjoy your day!