Sunday, September 30, 2012

Giveaway round up and little announcement

Hello all!  I have some wonderful giveaways to tell you about and ladies to thank, which I will get to in just a moment.  Before that, I am making it official: I am going to do my best to complete the 30 Day Challenge in October!  I know that I missed the bandwagon last month with 30 days of untrieds, but I really did not have the time to participate in September.  I am going to do my best to keep up this month and add some Halloween flair where I can.  I tend to just polish and add an accent nail, so I am going to try to push myself with a bit more art and creativity.  We shall see how this goes!  I'm sure that there will be other manis throughout the month, but I ask that you be kind as I give this a go!

So, here's the important stuff: giveaways!  These ladies are being incredibly generous and there are some a-mazing prizes up for wins!  Do not miss out on these giveaways!

*Galactic Lacquer: What a big thing to celebrate: 750 Facebook followers!  She is offering a really neat giveaway with a cute Halloween theme.  Go give her some big congrats and enter this cool giveaway (and fall in love with her Pac Man mani!)
This is open to the US and Canada and closes on October 13th.

*Sassy Pants: Gini is celebrating 100 Facebook likes!  She has some cool prizes to giveaway, not all of them polish!  There are some awesome glass files and polish remover pads to go along with your polish choices.  This makes for such a sweet little extra in your prize!  Give her some love and get in this giveaway!
This is open to US and Canada residents through October 18th.

*Crazy Polishes: In 7 months she's already up to more than 100 GFC followers!  That is totally something to celebrate!  There are a ton of gorgeous polishes and cool art tools, like stamping plates, up for wins. 
This is open internationally and closes on October 7th.

*StyleCraze: This is an amazing giveaway to celebrate 5000 members!  Can you believe that?  As they push toward 10,000, there is a great offer in this giveaway for tons of cool cosmetic goodies, not just polish.  Clearly this network is doing something right! 
This is open internationally and closes in one month.

*Spellbinding Nails: There are so many awesome prizes up for wins here!  Polish, stamping plates, nail art's all there!  This is to celebrate 2000 very well-deserved followers!  Stop in, share some love, and enter yourself for these super generous prizes!
This is open internationally and ends on October 3rd.

As always, "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

My first DS!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Ulta that opened near my home had a small selection of OPI Designer Series polishes hidden in their display.  So, I took advantage of opening weekend coupons and added some beauties to my collection! 

The first holo awesomeness I tried out was DS Reserve.  This applied like a dream!  I used my typical Sally Hansen Hard As Nails base coat and then I think I did 3 coats of Reserve, but I don't quite remember--this might only be 2.  The color is gorgeous!  It is a pretty, dusty pink full of scattered micro holo particles.  It is a really understated color, even with the sparkle, that I would never feel out of place wearing to work or anywhere. 

I couldn't stop there, though.  Of course not.  I'm me.  So, I tried out another new polish, China Glaze I'm Not Lion, from the On Safari collection.  I had seen a picture of this as an accent nail for a polish close to this color, though a cream, on Pinterest and loved the look.  I tried it with Reserve.  It actually looks a lot better in person than it does in photos.  I only used one coat and, in hindsight, should have done 2 or not layered it. 

This chunky golden holo is a nice contrast to the pink and has the same sepia, antique tone to it.  I wish I had made it stand out more and could have gotten better shots, but there's always next time!

So, do you have a DS collection?  Do you think they're worth the price?  I've loved mine so far and the coupons definitely help (the latest one in Ulta's add is $5 of off $10!).

Monday, September 24, 2012

A few more giveaways...

As if there weren't enough in the last post, here are three more super generous giveaways!

*The Polish Monster: This is a really cool giveaway for breast cancer awareness month!  There are 3 prizes (with the cutest font ever!) that celebrate surviving and fighting this awful disease.  The polishes are awesome and they give to awareness/cure causes. 
This is open internationally and closes on the 29th.
*Pinked Polish: This sweetie is celebrating 500 well-deserved followers with TWO giveaways!  Between the two, there will be 16 winners of gorgeous indie polishes!  You can enter part one here and part two here.  While you're there, give her some love and congrats on all the people who dig her work!
*Spellbinding Nails: This is a killer giveaway!  There are a ton of really generous, amazing gifts up for wins, including some great stamping plates and the ever-elusive Fantasy Fire!  Head over and give some big congrats for reaching 2000 followers when you enter!
*Nails for the Sake of Sanity: There are still a couple more days to enter this really fun giveaway!  To celebrate 100 awesome followers, Kelly is giving away some Indies.  The best part of this is that each winner gets to choose the color that they win!  Show her some love and get in on this really generous offer!

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

LOTS of updates!

It has been one hell of a week!
This week was stressful, to say the least.  It was busy with both of my jobs and emotional.  I just hit a wall and lost it a bit on Wednesday.  God knew I was done, couldn't take anything more breaking me down.   Thursday things began to look up and the week has gotten so much better! 

*I tried two new polishes with interesting results.  I used two coats of Essence Colour to Go in Grey-t To Be Here.  I probably should have done 3 coats for coverage, but I didn't plan to wear this long.  The pale gray is filled with super-fine pink shimmer.  It is really pretty in the sun, looking almost lavender from all of the pink.  I wanted a simple accent, so I used a coat of Sinful Colors Pinky Glitter.  This one is in the colored iridescent family.  It the pink tinted clear base is packed with different sized light pink iridescent glitter.  This matches Grey-t perfectly and was a sparkly little compliment.  However, I decided to go loud.  So, I layered a coat of OPI You Glitter Be Good To Me on top of that.  I got this in a breast cancer awareness duo.  It is a clear base with lots of micro square light pink, almost coral, glitter and scattered larger magenta hex glitter.  I actually think it's quite pretty, and it looked just fine with the gray.  I wasn't in love with this, and can't pinpoint why.  Without OPI, it would be a nice, subtle mani to do again on all nails.  The gray did look a little funky with my skin and chipped like mad!  I only wore this for two full days and ever nail had sizable chunks missing.  For $1.99, I can accept that--I just need to remember it!

*This should be the last post about polish without photos!  My poor little camera never turned up and I am still really sad to have lost the pictures on it.  But, Best Buy had some cameras on sale, so I looked through the little point and shoots.  There it was!  The same camera I bought, about $20 cheaper, and in PINK!  So, I bit the bullet and ordered her and she came in this week!  That means I can post my (best attempt at) mani photos again.

*I won my first giveaway!  After a long day, drained from work and emotion, I came home to find an email from Kirsten at All That Glitters saying I won her Halloween collection in a giveaway!  The polishes are A-mazing and I am so excited to see the in real life.  I love how hard ladies like her work on their polish and wish I had the ability to buy more indies, so this is a real treat for me.  It was a boost to my spirit that I really needed and now I am so excited to own these pretties!

*A new Ulta opened in my neighborhood!  I love Ulta--there is so much to drool over there!  I popped in on Friday to see the new store and it is awesome.  They sent out a $5 off $15 coupon for the weekend, so I had to take advantage--maybe a couple of times...  I found Wet n' Wild Fantasy Makers Tombstone polishes for $1.99 and nabbed 3 colors.  They had such full displays that it was hard not to want EVERYTHING.  Then, as I looked through the China Glaze, a flash of silver caught my eye.  At the bottom of the OPI display to my right were a few rows of DS polish!  Needless to say, expect some holo goodness in my first pictures...

Here are some awesome giveaways that I have been meaning to get the word out on.  I have been exhausted and dropped the ball, but most of my list to share is still open, so here they are:

*Holographic Hussy: The amazing Claudia has some indies up for wins because she has been awesome for four months now!  Her followers keep adding up and she has a lot to be proud of.  Go admire her perfect swatches and dream about owning her polish collection...
This is open internationally and closes in one week.
*Lydia's Nails: Go give this girl some love because that's what she's doing for us!  No birthday or follower milestone--just a generous give away.  The girl has talent--scroll through her most recent series for the 31 day challenge (you will NOT be disappointed).
This is open internationally and you have 11 more days to enter.
*Pointless Cafe: She is offering up the amazing Butter London Fishwife!  I have jumped on the Butter bandwagon and her swatches of it are fantastic!  She's another talented one who is doing the 31 day challenge, so drool through her swatches and enjoy the art she has been up to!
This ends on Friday the 28th.
*Ashley Is PolishAddicted: I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but you have to go look through her 31 day challenge art!  I have nothing against long nails, but I keep mine short lately and love that she does too.  Her personality shines through her nail art and I know you'll instantly want to be her friend--I do!  I really love her style and work; I feel like we're polish sisters separated at birth!  I know, I know, I'm a creeper!  She has a BB Couture Dragon's Breath offered and it's a beauty, so head over.
This is open internationally and closes Saturday the 29th.
*The Crumpet: She is offering up Zoya Diva & Designer polishes!  I adore reading her blog.  Not only are her swatches and art amazing, but she is so much fun!  I love some good nail art, but I think that personality and spunk are really what hooks me on blogs, and she has both in spades!
This is open internationally and closes October 2nd.
*Oh Three Oh Four: This is a really cool giveaway.  In addition to swatching and promoting indies, she is offering up some.  For the giveaway, she is offering 4 Jindie polishes and lets the winner choose!  If you are unsure of which you would pick, just lose yourself in her swatches--it's not hard to do!
This is not open internationally and ends on Friday the 28th.
*The Nail Junkie: First off, this lady makes just about the cutest labels for her polishes!  I know that they are simple, but I totally love them.  She is offering up her new Halloween collection (and I think it rocks that she give away her own creations).  I love Pumpkin and Candy Corn--which one would you rock?
This is open internationally and end on October 6th.
*The TraceFace Philes: Speaking of The Nail Junkie, she is giving away some!  Traci is so good at giving love to Indie brands and her swatches are flawless.  She is also really great at describing the colors and polishes, which sometimes is even more helpful than photos when you are deciding to buy.
This is open internationally and closes in one week.
*Set In Lacquer: I love when bloggers make it possible for multiple people to win, and Kelly has 6 prizes up for wins!  She is offering some great Essie polishes and dotting tools, which I don't think you can ever have too many of! While you enter, take some time to look through her work--she has a great mix of lovely swatches and really creative nail art.
This is open internationally and closes in one week.

Phew!  Well, that's a lot to get caught up on, but it feels good because now I can just work on using and showing my hoard off (let's just be honest about what it is...).  So, thanks for listening while there was nothing to see and, as always, "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A layering lesson

I needed to change my polish because the tips had some serious wear from my "camo" french mani, so I decided to try some unused polishes.  I decided to get in touch with my darker side and gave Orly Androgynie and Butter London's The Black Knight a try.
Both of these are amazing in their bottles and I didn't want to use too much of either one, so I started with Black Out to build a base.  I have been after Androgynie for a while and was excited to try it out.  The Black Knight was one I nabbed in Ulta's BOGO and knew it would be amazing on my nails.
I used one coat of Black Out under 2 of Androgynie on all but my ring finger, and then two coats of Black Out and one of The Black Knight as an accent.
Androgynie was such a sad surprise!  I had set the bottle upside down to get the glitter moving (it settles so bad!) and figured that more is better.  Unfortunately, two coats buries the large hex glitter a bit.  This wasn't a total bust.  The scattered holo micro glitter is really pretty in the sun, and the iridescent hexes are too, when they show up.  I wish that I had just used one coat to let the glitter stand out more.  I used a thick coat of Hoof Lacquer over the top and it really made this one look like a jelly, squishy wonder!
The Black Knight is a gorgeous mix of micro teal, magenta and silver glitter in a blackened base.  I love the look of this and wish that I had used two coats to make it pop even more.  It is gorgeous in the sun and I am so torn between using it ALL the time and saving it because these babies do not come cheap!
The verdict: neither is quite what I expected, but I don't regret either.  I just need to adjust how I use them to get the most awesome for my buck!
The good news is that I should have a replacement camera any day now to capture some of these polish (mis)adventures.  Until then, I'm still learning lessons and making a long list of ideas to try!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I love my little Marine!

On Monday my little cousin will leave on his first deployment.  It is bittersweet.  We are SO proud of him and all that he has accomplished in the Marines.  He is pretty darn amazing!  On the other hand, he's leaving for eight months of unknown and it's scary to think of him out there, somewhere.  He's so much more mature and brave than I think, yet he's still so young and small.  I'm excited and scared for him, all at the same time.  I think he's feeling the same way.

Last night we went out to dinner to fill him up before we send him off.  It was nice to be with family and spend time with him before he leaves.  I had peeled a couple of nails clean (I know, I know, it's HORRIBLE for my nails!) and needed a new mani.  Then my BOGO Zoyas called to me!
I did an "as-close-to-camo-as-I-can-manage" mani in his honor.  I used 3 coats of China Glaze Fast Track and then did a funky french with Zoya Yara on the tips.
I love both of these polishes!  I tend toward bright, glittery and pink, so Yara was not really in my comfort zone.  But, when I saw the sparkly shimmer in the sun, I knew that it was a good stretch for me.  In hindsight, I wish that I had done two coats of it on the tips to make it stand out more.  It is a gorgeous olive green packed with gold shimmer.  It is also the perfect "camo" green.  I layered it over Fast Track because it had the right sandy look to it.
I hadn't tried Fast Track yet and was excited to use it.  I went with 3 coats because it is pretty thin.  If I wore it alone, I would have either done 4 coats to eliminate the visible nail line or layered it over a beige nude cream.  I was not prepared for how amazing this polish is!  I don't really know about what does or does not look good with my skin tone, and I really don't care all that much.  This one looked better than I expected and it dazzles in the sun!  The micro shimmer is amazing!  I did a thick coat of Hoof Lacquer over my Out the Door and the glassy finish is just amazing over these two. 

Still no camera, so still no mediocre pictures, but I have to say that these two are pretty awesome if you are going for a camouflage look!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I was about to write about my own personal little loss, and it sounds so lame considering that today is the 11th anniversary of the attacks on our country.  Today was an odd one.  Last year was so monumental, so salient with all of the memorials and reflection.  Everything came flooding back from that morning, those days, the before and the after.  It was all we saw and talked about, a big shadow that loomed and left the day heavy. 
Perhaps it is because I worked today.  Perhaps it is because the tenth anniversary is behind us and it left some relief in its wake.  Perhaps it is simply too far away to touch me today.  Whatever happened, every time I wrote the date it jarred me.  It was a little reminder that my world will never be the same, never be as safe.  It was also an oddly normal day.  There was no fanfare in my world, no quite and sorrow.  It was every other day.  It was weird. 

Last weekend I got a new car.  I had to say goodbye to my before, to the car that I learned to drive in.  After 12 years, I had to let go of so much as I handed over the keys.  My new car is reliable and wonderful, but it was bittersweet.  I took pictures to remember it by, every little detail: my steering wheel, worn where I hold it, my license plate, my high school parking permit that will never come out.  Then I lost my camera.
Luckily I have been blogging and uploading pictures weekly, so that is really all that was lost.  Nevertheless, it was really sad for me to lose the memory of my car.  It was something to hold onto, something to look back on, and it disappeared.
All of this is to say that I won't have pictures for a while.  I will still keep up a (pretty boring) blog, but it will be a while until I can afford a new little camera.  But I do want to remember colors and combos I like, so I'll be keeping my log here.  It will just be much less colorful.

I wanted something bright and easy this week, so I dove into my new BOGO Zoyas that just came.  I went with Starla.  This bright (almost neon) pink has a subtle micro shimmer that dances in the sun.  It was much thinner than I expected, so I started with a base of Sinful Colors Snow Me White.  I used three coats of Starla and then added two coats of Nubar Black Polka Dots over the top.  I love black glitter!  To set off the pink, I used two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out on its own on my ring fingers as an accent.  Then, to amp up the shine, I used a thick coat of Hoof Lacquer.
I am really enjoying the bright shimmer/glitter with a dark cream accent.  I have some extra days off this week, so I think that I will need to play with some new additions to my collection (hello Butter London BOGO!) but I really like this one right now!