Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 2013 Hauls

   Things are looking up!  My last doctor visit went well and my fluid levels are where they are supposed to be.  So long as this continues I should be able to safely carry this baby to term!  As of today that only makes 3 weeks to go, anyhow...  I'm fine with her waiting until then to come out, haha.  =)

   So, this month... kind of made up for buying so little earlier in the year...  Some things were gifts though, too!  And pretty much everything else in this picture was on sale.

   Usually I would have a bunch of pictures and list off everything that I accumulated, but I'm not doing that this time.  (Combine a busy week & weekend with the exhaustion of pregnancy...)  Instead I'll leave links to what I've already shown on my blog!
   I've already tested more of what you see here... tune in next week for Nyx swatches and more Laquerlicious eye candy!  I think I want to try out the nail decals or foil sheets I found next...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Picks From the L.A. Girl 3D Effects Holographic Collection

Swatch & Review

   I have several polishes to share today, princesses!  Prepare your eyes for a feast of sparkly goodness!  If you were a fan of the jelly-with-holographic-microshards beauties Aurora, Blaze and Storm that Zoya released you will like these, too!  I couldn't resist trying these new L.A. Girl polishes, and seeing how they compare...

From left to right: L.A Girl 3D Silver, Teal Dimension, Brilliant Blue, Sparkle Ruby, and Dazzling Pink

   The 3D Effect collection has 3 more polishes that I did not pick up: Electric Coral (I'm not really a coral-wearing girl), Purple Effect (looks like an exact dupe of Zoya Aurora, which I already own), and Black Illusion (a dupe for Zoya Storm, again I already own that polish).  All of them include the same silver holographic microshard glitter in a jelly base, except for 3D Silver, which is a clear-based glitter.  On to the swatches!

Top to bottom: Teal Dimension, Brilliant Blue, Sparkle Ruby, Dazzling Pink

Teal Dimension 

   I used 2 coats, no topcoat.  This is a true, deep teal color.  It reminds me of jewels and peacock feathers!  The jelly coverage is fantastic while still being sheer enough to show off a lot of holographic sparkle.  Very beautiful and a great color for heading into fall and winter.

Brilliant Blue 

   I used 2 coats, no topcoat.  Deep sapphire blue.  It brings to mind the night sky or ocean depths.  Not normally a color I would grab but the finish and look of this is irresistible!  It should be perfect as a base for nail art or sponged into a galaxy manicure.  I think the darker jelly base gives an illusion of less or smaller pinpricks glitters.

Sparkle Ruby 

   I used 2 coats, no topcoat.  Deep burgundy-red.  I absolutely love this color and was really surprised not to find any swatches of it while picking colors to buy from this collection!  The darker base makes it look less glitter-packed, but it sparkles beautifully.  And yes, Sparkle Ruby seems to be an exact dupe for Zoya Blaze!

Dazzling Pink 

   I used 2 coats, no topcoat.  Fun, flamingo-ish, warm toned pink.  This color was the most sheer and could probably use 3 coats.  It really shows the glitter!  I was on the fence about ordering this color because I'm picky about pinks, and sadly I don't think this one is the right shade for me.

L.A. Girl 3D Silver, 2 coats alone and 1 coat over black

3D Silver 

  Again, no topcoat used.  If you love the glitter but don't like any of the colors in this collection, this would be the polish to get.  It isn't going to have quite the same depth as the jelly-based colors, but it layers over any color to create an effect that looks the same from arm's-length away.  This is definitely a topper, I imagine it would take 5 coats to try to get the glitter opaque by itself.

   I'm going to talk about formula now because these all had the same formula!  In most reviews I found the swatcher said the polishes were thick, but that was not the case for me.  They aren't thin and runny, but they are very easy to use.  I didn't have any issues with pooling, dragging, or glitter being uneven.  Also, they dried fast.  I didn't use topcoat because they dried to a perfectly smooth, glassy finish all on their own.  Durability was good; I only had minor tip wear after a full workday.  Removal was a breeze, as well.  In my opinion these are all real winners.

   As for the glitter particles themselves, they are fantastic.  The fact that they are tiny irregular shapes makes the polishes interesting and unique.  The rainbow sparkle is hard to capture in photographs, so please believe me when I say it is there!  And in some lighting these polishes give a very faint linear holographic effect.  Otherwise I would classify these as scattered holo nail polishes.

   While this collection may not be L.A. Girl's most original batch of creations, it worth noticing.  If you were left wanting more by Zoya's holographic jellies last year, take a look at these.  (Don't bother buying repeats of the identical colors, though.)  If you like delicate sparkly toppers, pick up 3D Silver.  If you like solid-performing polishes that can be found for $5 a bottle or less, definitely hunt these down!  Here is the official webpage for this 8-polish collection.  I hope you found my swatches helpful.  =)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Laquerlicious - Diamond Diva

Swatch & Review

   This mini might be my favorite of the three I was sent for swatching.  It's hard to say - I'm bad at choosing favorites.  But there is something special about this polish from the All Things Diva Laquerlicious collection.

   First off, it doesn't really make me think of diamonds.  Oh, it certainly brings to mind jewels with it's gorgeous sparkle, and I know that diamonds come in more than clear, but I mostly think of tasty jam when looking at this!  Perhaps jam with crushed up gemstones in it, yes.  But that really isn't important.  What is important is that it is pretty!

   I used 3 coats of Diamond Diva by itself for this swatch.  It was wearable at 2 but the jelly base had a couple sheer spots, so the look of 3 was better.  You could definitely layer this glitter polish over a similar berry-hued shade for opacity, but the depth of three coats on it's own is fantastic.  Diamond Diva wants to dry to a satiny matte finish, I added 2 coats of topcoat to give it a glassy finish that really brought the sparkles out.

   The color of this polish can look a bit different depending on lighting, but it is always a rich, cool-toned color.  I'd describe it as magenta/fuchsia jelly with a bit of shimmer and a lot of microglitter.  The glitters are in shades of pink, purple, and blue, as well as a bit of iridescent glitter that shines orange.  It has a whole rainbow of jewel tones going on!

   Diamond Diva has the same slightly stronger-than-usual smell that Divine Doll has, and I'd say that application is the same, as well.  It does best when you work with it quickly but gently, and give it a few minutes before doing another coat.  By itself it has a slightly lumpy texture from the glitter, but it smooths right out with topcoat.  I love it!  What do you think?
   As always thanks for stopping by and having a look!  =)

Laquerlicious Links:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Laquerlicious - Divine Doll

Swatch & Review

   Hey everyone, important quick updates before I get into this swatch post.  First, my computer's screen is still being flaky.  It has decided to work for a bit right now so I took advantage of that by editing as many pictures as I could.  Replacing a bunch of parts has done nothing to keep it working and it appears that it must be a glitch caused by static, instead.  My husband is trying to find a permanent solution.  I'm just going to say that editing my photos on a CRT monitor (or our TV) is not my thing.  I've had a stern talk with my computer about it's behavior, so hopefully things will improve soon.

   Second, and more serious, my pregnant mommy check-ups are now happening twice-weekly.  The great news is that I'm basically feeling fine, and the baby seems to be good, too.  I'm being monitored closely because of my low amniotic fluid level, which can turn into a serious complication.  At any one of these check-ups there is the possibility that I'll be kept at the hospital, probably until our baby is delivered.  At this rate it's not looking like I'll reach my Sept 21st due date.  Personally I'm doing everything I can to hydrate myself and praying that the level will go up!

   So basically, if the blog suddenly goes silent, don't worry too much.  I'll try to keep updates going on Instagram if I can't post them here, so be sure to follow me there.

   Now on to the more frivolous and fun stuff.  ;D  Recently Michelle of the etsy shop Laquerlicious Unity moved some beautiful polishes into the clearance section of her shop, so this prompted a little spree on my behalf!  She was generous enough to send along a few minis, two of which are from her new All Things Diva collection, for swatching and sharing on my blog.  I'm really excited about the colors she surprised me with, because they are shades that I was curious about!

   First I tried Divine Doll.  The shop description is perfect: "a shimmery grape purple with an aqua shimmer and caramel and teal micro glitter" - yep, that's exactly what it is!  The purple tends to looks a bit like a blurple thanks to the aqua shimmer, and it's loaded with small glitters.  I used 2 coats for full coverage.  Application was a tad bit finicky but typical of this type of polish.  For best results you need to work quickly, applying a thin-ish first coat.  It wants to dry fast so if you mess with it too much the heavy shimmer pigment and glitters will start to drag and make bald spots.  So give that first coat a moment to dry and set up on your nail.  Then the 2nd coat applies perfectly!

   I took a bottle shot to try to show off the pretty glitters better.  Between the color purple and the heavy shimmer my camera was at a bit of a loss while photographing my nails.  I love the caramel and teal glitters in this polish!  They really pop, and I don't have anything like this shade in my collection.  This polish is a color combination that I would have never thought of, but totally works!  I was also very happy that it was friendly to my pale skin tone.  May I also point out that this super-duper shimmery polish shows not a single brushstroke?  Hooray for being frost-free!

   Being glitter-heavy, it does have texture when dry.  Not gritty texture, though.  I used 1 coat of Poshe to top this manicure off, and while it wasn't glassy smooth, I didn't notice my nails having texture.  Also, removal... actually not bad!  I soaked a cotton pad with remover, held it on my nail for a few minutes, and most the glitter wiped right off.  I advise against scrubbing at the glitter; then it does turn into a sparkle-splosion on your hands.

   The only complaint that I could mention about this polish is that it has a stronger smell than the other Laquerlicious shades I've tried.  It has the regular polish smell and a little something more.  A sort of sweet, chemical-y odor.  I'm guessing that these might use a different base to suspend all the shimmer, and that would be the cause for a different smell.  (My full-size bottles just smell like typical glitter polish!)  The smell disappears when you apply topcoat, so it is only a temporary suffering!

   Thanks for reading, princess!  Be sure to check out the Laquerlicious shop, and stay tuned for another awesome All Things Diva polish coming up next! =)

Laquerlicious Links:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting Organized With the Social Butterfly Acrylic Counter Tray by Caboodles!


   I won a giveaway!  =D  Caboodles held a giveaway on their Twitter account for a nifty acrylic organizer, and last week it arrived at my house!  I put it to use straight away and have really been enjoying it, so here is my review, as well as some before and after pictures...

   This is called the Social Butterfly Acrylic Organizer.  I found it listed on for about $15, and considering there are no Target stores near me I'm pretty happy to have gotten one after all!  It is bigger than expected.  I was originally planning to use it at my make-up dresser, but when I opened it I realized it was very similar in size to something that desperately needed better organizing...  Enter my manicure "caddy".

   A handy hexagon-shaped box crammed full of what I need to keep on hand for doing my nails.  It's a good size to grab-and-go, but as you can see it ends up very messy... and what I need ends up on the bottom, of course!

   So, let's take a look at the things I had to sort out...

   Nail polish remover, a small bottle of straight acetone for clean-up, a glass jar filled with files, brushes, tweezers...  My tube of cotton pads, dotting tools, a nail buffer, assorted base and top coats, polish remover pads, my glass nail files, and my tin of cotton buds. Some things I realized weren't needed for constant use, so I took them out altogether!  I also threw out some of the old disposable nail files that I don't use anymore.

   And so my new case went from empty... to nice and full!  The only thing I couldn't fit in the organizer was my bottle of nail polish remover, which is too bad.  But, everything else has it's spot.

   All the tall stuff gets sorted into the upper compartments, and my most used nail treatments, bases, and toppers are in easy view.  I think I'll finally stop misplacing them!  Little things are stashed in the lower drawers.  I was apprehensive about having doors swinging out on something that I do pick up and move frequently, but that hasn't been an issue at all.  I've been using this organizer for about a week now and I'm really happy with it.  I love the clear acrylic, which somehow stays smudge-free and of course keeps everything perfectly visible!  This is definitely a step up from a single small box.

   Huge thanks to Caboodles for the awesome prize!  For those curious, this was my winning tweet:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's a Girl-y Giveaway!! Open until Sept 5th

   Hello, Princesses!  Today marks one month left until my baby girl is due, so I'm letting her inspire the theme of this giveaway with some pretty pink and purple things!  Last week was my 2-year anniversary of blogging, so this giveaway also commemorates that accomplishment.  Let's take a look at the goodies I have...

The Prizes:
  • A pair of princess-themed socks,
  • China Glaze Crackle nail polish in Fault Line,
  • L.A. Colors unnamed mini,
  • Milani nail polioshes in Jewel FX Lavender and Pink Flash,
  • and a black ribbon hair bow!
Here is a closer look at the polishes... 

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!
   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, August 19, 2013

Color Club: Miss Bliss & Eternal Beauty with Cloud Art

Swatch & Review / Nail Art

   First off, huge shout-out to my husband for replacing the inverter board in my laptop.  Now the backlight in my screen lights up again, so I can edit my pictures!  Yayyy...  The timing of that part dying last week was really bad - August 15th was my 2-year blogaversary, and I was too busy to bother trying to make a post on a different computer, or more aptly, a different screen.  (I don't want to edit colors on a screen I'm not used to.)  Anyway, happy belated blogaversary to me - celebrations shall ensue. =)

   Photographs don't do this manicure justice.  I did a little cloud design and it hardly showed in pictures...  I used Color Club Miss Bliss (pink linear holo) and Color Club Eternal Beauty (purple linear holo).  Miss Bliss is a slightly deeper shade of pink than Color Club Halo-graphic, because I love linear holos and the color pink I'm happy to have both in my collection!    But they are quite similar and you really don't need both...

   Anyhow, I can rave about the formulas on these polishes equally.  They were super-smooth to apply and very pigmented - wearable at 1 coat!  I used 2 coats for better depth of color, however.  Miss Bliss is a true pink color, and Eternal Beauty is true purple, not leaning too blue or red.  And they are so full of rainbows.  Simply awesome.  Check out my picture below from before I added the nail art!

   Two more untrieds have become tried and loveds!  What do you think of them?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lush Lacquer: Pebbles with Fishtail Accent - Baby Shower Nails!

Nail Art / Swatch & Review

   Working through more of my untried indie glitters, I created this cute manicure to wear to the baby shower that my best friend held yesterday!  It was such a nice party.  These might not look like very baby-themed nails, but I'm not one for baby motifs.  So I went with nice bright colors, instead.  Also, Lush Lacquer is created by a mother-daughter team, so it totally fits!

   All my nails started out with a base coat of white, which was Zoya Purity.  For my glitter gradient nails I used Lush Lacquer Pebbles.  This is an awesome, colorful matte glitter in a clear base.  It looks way better on the nail than in the bottle, where the colors appear muddled because of the tiny glitter size.  On the nail the yellow, pink, purple and blue really pop!

   The glitter coverage was good, too.  My nails are showing 1 coat at the cuticle/top, 2 coats from the middle down, and 3 at the very tip.  Roughly.  I just dabbed the glitter on carefully to make the gradient effect.  My verdict is that this polish is great!

   For accent nails I tried doing fishtail style chevrons for the first time.  They didn't come out too badly, but 4 colors was way too many for a beginner's attempt!  Definitely going to stick with 2 the next time I practice.  I did a pretty good job matching up the polish colors to the glitter in Pebbles, though.  Here is what I used:

Lush Lacquer Pebbles, China Glaze Happy-Go-Lucky, Zoya Sweet, Pure Ice Fairy Godmother and Sally Hansen Blue Me Away!

   What do you think of these nails?  Do you have any Lush Lacquer colors to recommend?  They can be found in the Lush Lacquer etsy shop!  Thanks for looking.  =)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cherry Culture 25% Off Nail Polish Sale! My Picks~

   Hello, princesses.  It's vary rare for me to share sale announcements or any type of advertising on my blog, but this one is way too good not to point out!  One of my favorite make-up sites is having a sale on one of my favorite things... nail polish!  Behold:
Source: CherryCulture.comAll the images in this post were pulled directly from their site.

   To make this a little more interesting I'm going to share a few of my favorite brands to buy from Cherry Culture, and specifically the products I enjoy most by those brands!  Working in brand-alphabetical order...

   This brand is one of Cherry Culture's more recent additions.  I love my China Glaze polishes.  Their cremes tend to be especially good and work perfectly for water marbling!  China Glaze can be pricey in beauty shops or salons unless you find them on clearance, and their prices have even been raised a bit on some of my other discount nail polish sites.  Currently on Cherry Culture you can get most of their colors for $2.99 a bottle (once you apply the 25% off code), which is dirt cheap!

   Some of my most-loved and most often used colors come out of this collection.  These are great performing 2-coater pastels and brights that are a wonderful addition for anyone who enjoys colorful nails, or needs some basic colors for nail art.  I own all but one from this bunch!  Also, these tend to be hard to find in stock, because of their popularity.  Right now Cherry Culture seems to be well-stocked for the sale, yay!

   Yes, more cremes.  Good cremes, though!  Really good cremes.  I especially love Aquadelic, Dance Baby, Kinetic Candy and Sweet Hook.  One thing to note is that Wicked Style is practically a dead-on dupe for Heli-Yum from the Up & Away collection.  Both are colors I love, but you don't need both!

   This is an older collection but it includes three of my most-loved glass-fleck polishes: 108 Degrees, Blue Iguana, and Senorita Bonita!

   There are bunches more that I could point out specifically, but I'll just throw in a link to the very popular shade Fairy Dust and let you explore the rest on your own!  (If you don't have Fairy Dust, get it.  It is the best prismatic goes-with-everything microglitter topcoat ever!)

   For being "cheapie" polishes these tend to be very good!  I've got a bunch of them.  The website swatches really don't do them justice.  My suggestion is to look up swatches of the collections Online!

   I'm pointing this bunch out because of the few very unique glitters they released last year.  See my swatches here!  This is a dollar store polish line but I can't usually find very many locally, and it's just as cheap to buy them on Cherry Culture when I earn free shipping.

   Did you love Zoya's Storm and Aurora polishes?  If so, this collection is for you.  They have the same holographic microshard glitter in jelly bases!  I just finally managed to snag a few during this sale for myself, as they were out-of-stock before.  From looking at swatches Online it seems that their Purple Effect polish is a dupe for Aurora.  If you like the sparkle but not the colors, grab 3D silver - it contains the glitter in a clear base.

   Of course I had to include these!  I only own a couple, but their price is good, the polishes are full-sized, the magnets are easy-to-use and have unique designs available.  Hello, ring-shapes on my nail!  Not everything has to be stripes and waves...

   Can you tell I love a lot of L.A. Girl collections?  What can I say, they are good quality and affordable.  These glitters-in-a-clear-base are great basics for layering, and my top pick is the black glitter, Uninhibited.  It was one of the first available black glitter toppers, before the black glitter craze even hit!

   If you like metallics, and in particular foils, have a look at these.  Most of the shades here are highly-pigmented, wonderfully formulated foils.  A few are metallic shimmers.  Again, you'll find swatches Online if you search for the color you're interested in.  My favorites are Chromium Green, Graphite, and Pink Steel.

   This one has a little bit of everything.  Awesome dark shimmering shades, fun glitter and shimmer toppers...  Once again I suggestion looking for swatches of the collection Online rather than going by the dinky site swatches.

   Okay, okay.  Enough of the L.A. Girls stuff.  Moving on...

   A drugstore brand, but I can't usually find all the colors in my local CVS, and Cherry Culture tends to stock them cheaper.  Their newest collections, Retro Glam and Exotic Plumage have both had highly favorable reviews, and you'll find them both here.  The special black & white glitter toppers are listed separately, however.

   Super-sparkly, textured glitter polishes to be found here, as well as a few glitter-packed but not "sand" or "sugar" finish ones.  I very recently used Pink Flash!

   I have been using and loving these for quite awhile now.  They are affordable linear holographics with user-friendly formulas.  Their rainbow effect isn't crazy-strong, but they really are stunners!  I think it's because of the holographic microshards in them.  These can be worn on their own, but my Mom and I have found them to be excellent for layering over other shades.

   I like a lot of Nyx products, and their nail polish as well!  I buy almost all of my Nyx stuff from Cherry Culture because I can get it so cheap during their various sales!

   Really low-priced polish, really nice colors, glitters, and formulas.  I have quite the assortment of these!  My absolute favorite has to be Dreamy Glitter, thanks to it's beautiful little pink stars.  Grab it if you're into delicate glitter toppers!  I haven't experienced any duds from this line of polish, but I have been happiest with the metallic, glitter and shimmer shades.

   I hope you enjoyed the peek at some of my favorite polishes, and where I buy them!  Head over to to take advantage of the sale using the code NP25 - you have until August 13th!  Orders above $40 get free US shipping (which is pretty easy to do, ahem).  If you do buy anything let me know what you picked out in the comments below!  =)